Stratcom Detects North Korean Missile Launch
(Source: US Department of Defense; issued Feb. 12, 2017)
WASHINGTON --- U.S. Strategic Command systems detected and tracked what officials said was a North Korean missile launch yesterday at 5:55 p.m. EST, according to a news release issued by Stratcom.

The North American Aerospace Defense Command determined the missile launch from North Korea did not pose a threat to North America, the release said.

The launch of a medium- or intermediate-range ballistic missile occurred near the northwestern city of Kusong. The missile was tracked over North Korea and into the Sea of Japan, the release said.

"The men and women of [Stratcom], NORAD and U.S. Northern Command, and U.S. Pacific Command remain vigilant in the face of North Korean provocations and are fully committed to working closely with our Republic of Korea and Japanese allies to maintain security," the release said.

Stratcom's mission is to conduct global operations in synchronization with other combatant commands and appropriate U.S. government agencies to detect, deter and prevent strategic attacks against the U.S., its allies, and partners, and to be prepared to deliver warfighting capability to defend the nation.

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N. Korea Claims Successful Test of Medium-Range Ballistic Missile
(Source: Yonhap news agency; published Feb. 13, 2017)
SEOUL --- North Korea has claimed it successfully test-launched a new medium-range ballistic missile that is capable of carrying a nuclear warhead, the country's state-run media said Monday.

The Korean Central News Agency said the Pukguksong-2 strategic weapon system was successfully test-fired Sunday. It added that the missile launched from a mobile launcher used solid propellants and a new high-thrust engine developed in the country. The missiles also proved it can engage in evasive maneuvers during flight, the North said.

North Korean leader Kim Jong-un was present for the launch and stressed that with the Pukguksong-2, Pyongyang now has another means to deliver nuclear weapons. The country has tested a total of five nuclear devices since 2006, with two being detonated last year.

The news agency said Kim ordered the development of a surface-to-surface ballistic missile with extended firing range on the basis of the success made in the submarine-launched ballistic missile test in August last year.

On Sunday, South Korea said it detected a modified Musudan type intermediate-range ballistic missile (IRBM) being fired from Banghyon air base in the western province of North Pyongan Province at 7:55 a.m.

South Korea's military said the missile was fired at a high angle and reached a height of 550 kilometers and then flew about 500 km before splashing into the East Sea.

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