CONTROVERSIAL TOPICS

CONTROVERSIAL TOPICS

Tuesday, March 7, 2017



Bringing out the big guns: US deploys hi-tech anti-ballistic missiles in South Korea prompting threats of 'actual war' from Kim Jong-un's regime 



  • Two missile systems were flown into Osan Air Base overnight on board a massive C-17 transport aircraft
  • South Korean and US officials said they wanted the defensive system to be operational as soon as possible
  • North Korea fired four upgraded ballistic missiles into the sea off the Japanese coast  over the weekend 
  • Pyongyang media reported that North Korean military forces are being kept on a constant war footing  


The United States has deployed its high-tech THAAD anti-ballistic missile system to South Korea in response to Kim Jong-un's recent weapons tests. 
The Terminal High-Altitude Defense system was flown into South Korea days after North Korea fired four ballistic missiles into the ocean near Japan. 
North Korea has expressed outrage over the new missile system, as have China and Russia due to the weapon's powerful search radars. 
The United States released photographs of two of its THAAD missile launchers which have been deployed to South Korea and were unloaded overnight at Osan Air Base, 50 miles south of the border from a C-17 transport jet 
The United States released photographs of two of its THAAD missile launchers which have been deployed to South Korea and were unloaded overnight at Osan Air Base, 50 miles south of the border from a C-17 transport jet 
The high tech missile systems can intercept 48 incoming missiles per battery according to manufacturer Lockheed Martin
The high tech missile systems can intercept 48 incoming missiles per battery according to manufacturer Lockheed Martin
North Korea, Russia and China have all objected to the plan to deploy the missile system to the Korean peninsula 
North Korea, Russia and China have all objected to the plan to deploy the missile system to the Korean peninsula 
Lockheed Martin claim the missile system has a 100 per cent success record in defeating incoming attacks 
Lockheed Martin claim the missile system has a 100 per cent success record in defeating incoming attacks 
The company claims the missiles system can provide  a shield around an area such as a city or a military base
The company claims the missiles system can provide  a shield around an area such as a city or a military base
US military authorities insisted the weapons system is a defensive measure intended to destroy incoming ballistic missiles. 
Admiral Harry Harris, head of the US Pacific Command said: 'Continued provocative actions by North Korea, to include yesterday's launch of multiple missiles, only confirm the prudence of our alliance decision last year to deploy THAAD to South Korea.'
Both US and South Korean officials confirmed the THAAD system will be operational as soon as possible as to offer protection against possible threats posed by North Korea.   
On Monday, North Korea fired four ballistic missiles in an apparent protest against ongoing U.S.-South Korean military drills that it views as an invasion rehearsal. 
The missiles flew about 620 miles on average, three of them landing in waters that Japan claims as its exclusive economic zone, according to South Korean and Japanese officials.

Lockheed test Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) system

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North Korea tested four ballistic missiles on Monday firing them into the see off the coast of Japan further raising tensions 
North Korea tested four ballistic missiles on Monday firing them into the see off the coast of Japan further raising tensions 
US troops have been conducting drills alongside their South Korean counterparts in areas close to the northern border
The two missile units were flown into Osan Air Base which is about 50 miles south of the border with North Korea
The two missile units were flown into Osan Air Base which is about 50 miles south of the border with North Korea
The North's state media on Tuesday said leader Kim Jong Un supervised a ballistic rocket launching drill, a likely reference to the four launches reported by Seoul and Tokyo. Involved in the drills were artillery units tasked with striking 'U.S. imperialist aggressor forces in Japan,' according to the Korean Central News Agency.
South Korea's Joint Chiefs of Staff said that the missiles fired by the North were believed to be 'improved versions' of Scud missiles. South Korean experts say North Korea's extended-range Scuds and mid-range Rodong missiles are capable of hitting Japan, including U.S. military bases in Okinawa.
Kim 'ordered the KPA (Korean People's Army) Strategic Force to keep highly alert as required by the grim situation in which an actual war may break out anytime,' a KCNA dispatch said.
THAAD, which has six truck-mounted launchers that can fire up to 48 interceptor missiles per battery, is designed to take out incoming targets at relatively high altitudes midflight.
A THAAD battery also includes fire control and communication equipment, as well as radar for detecting target projectiles and initiating the interception process. 
U.S. defense and aerospace giant Lockheed Martin, which manufactures THAAD, says on its website that the system has had '100 percent mission success' in flight testing since 2005.
US moves parts of missile defence equipment to South Korea

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Kim Jong-un, pictured, ordered the launch of the four missiles from an undisclosed location in North Korea 
At least two missile launchers and some other components for THAAD arrived in South Korea on Monday, and Seoul says the plan is to have the system operational as soon as possible.
South Korean officials say THAAD would strengthen the country's anti-missile capabilities, which currently rely on Patriot-based systems, and deter North Korea, which continues to pursue a broad range of nuclear missiles, including those fired from road mobile launchers or submarines.
Critics say THAAD doesn't address more immediate threats to the South, including the North's short-range missiles and artillery rockets that fly at lower altitudes and can hit Seoul and nearby cities, where about half of South Koreans live.
But China isn't convinced, saying the system would allow U.S. radar to peer deep into its territory and monitor its flights and missile launches. The Russians are also unhappy for similar reasons.
Some South Korean citizens have objected to the plans to install THAAD to their country because of the increase in tension
Some South Korean citizens have objected to the plans to install THAAD to their country because of the increase in tension
China's condemnation of THAAD has triggered protests in the country against South Korean retail giant Lotte, which agreed to provide one of its golf courses in southern South Korea as the system's site.
South Korea's government raised concerns about a reported ban on Chinese tour groups visiting the country. There are also reports about growing calls in China to boycott South Korean products and cancel appearances by South Korean pop singers or movie stars.
These developments are alarming for South Korea, whose export-led economy has become increasingly dependent on Chinese demand for its industrial products and tourism assets. 
THAAD will likely emerge as a major issue in South Korea's next presidential election, which could take place in just a few months if the country's Constitutional Court decides to formally unseat impeached President Park Geun-hye over a corruption scandal.
Some potential presidential contenders, including liberal Moon Jae-jin, who polls show is the favorite to become the country's next leader, have argued that South Korea should 'reconsider' THAAD because of the potential impact on relations with China and Russia. 
Other potential candidates have said outright that the country should scrap the plan.
Despite the political rhetoric, most experts say it's unlikely that South Korea will ever back track on THAAD at the risk of frustrating Washington, its most important strategic ally. 
North Korea faced a chorus of condemnation on Tuesday for its latest ballistic missile tests but declared that ongoing joint U.S.-South Korea military exercises were aimed at conducting a 'pre-emptive nuclear attack' against Pyongyang.
Ju Yong Choi, a North Korean diplomat, told the U.N.-sponsored Conference on Disarmament in Geneva that the 'massive, unprecedented' joint drills were 'a major cause of escalation of tension that might turn into actual war'.
Robert Wood, U.S. Disarmament Ambassador, retorted that North Korea was a 'a pariah, an outlier' that has violated multiple U.N. Security Council resolutions and international law by conducting ballistic missile and nuclear tests.





A woman in Seoul walks past a television broadcasting a news report on North Korea firing ballistic missiles. Photograph: Kim Hong-Ji/Reuters

Japan has lodged a protest and warned of grave threats to its security after North Korea launched four ballistic missiles on Monday morning, three of which fell into Japanese waters.
The exact type of missile fired was not immediately clear, but South Korea’s military said it was unlikely that they were intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBM), which can reach the US. An unnamed US official told Reuters that the US saw no indications that an ICBM had been tested.
According to the military in Seoul, the North fired the unidentified projectiles shortly after 7.30am local time (2230 GMT Sunday) from the Tongchang-ri region near its border with China. The area is home to the North’s Seohae satellite station, where it has conducted banned long-range rocket launches in recent years.



“The latest launches of ballistic missiles clearly demonstrate evidence of a new threat from North Korea,” the Japanese prime minister, Shinzo Abe, said. “The launches are clearly in violation of [UN] security council resolutions. It is an extremely dangerous action.”
The missiles flew about 620 miles (1,000km) before landing in the Sea of Japan – known as the East Sea in Korea – with three landing in Japan’s “exclusive economic zone”. A fourth splashed down just outside the EEZ.
Three of the missiles landed 186-217 miles (300-350km) from the Oga peninsula in Japan’s Akita prefecture, according to the country’s defence minister, Tomomi Inada.
Japan’s chief cabinet secretary, Yoshihide Suga, called the latest missile launch a “grave threat to national security” but added that there were no reports of damage to ships or aircraft in the area.
South Korea’s acting president Hwang Kyo-ahn said the launches were a direct challenge to the international community.


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 The missile flew from Tongchang-ri to an impact point about 186 miles (300km) off the Oga Peninsula in Akita prefecture. Photograph: Guardian

The US also condemned the launch, vowing that Washington was ready to “use the full range of capabilities at our disposal against this growing threat”.

He added: “We remain prepared – and will continue to take steps to increase our readiness – to defend ourselves and our allies from attack, and are prepared to use the full range of capabilities at our disposal against this growing threat.”
“The United States strongly condemns the DPRK’s ballistic missile launches tonight, which violate UN security council resolutions explicitly prohibiting North Korea’s launches using ballistic missile technology,” the State Department’s acting spokesman, Mark Toner, said in a statement.
North Korea conducted two nuclear tests and 20 missile launches last year – a sign, say experts, that the country’s leader, Kim Jong-un, is redoubling efforts to develop a nuclear arsenal capable of deterring “hostility” from the US and South Korea.
In his New Year’s address, Kim claimed that the North was preparing to test fire an ICBM – a development that would dramatically raise the diplomatic and security stakes for Washington.
The US defence secretary, James Mattis, warned last month that any nuclear attack on the US or its allies in the Asia-Pacific would trigger an “effective and overwhelming” response.
North Korea has carried out five nuclear tests and dozens of missile launches despite six rounds of UN sanctions that began after Pyongyang’s first nuclear test in 2006.
Concern is growing that with every new test, North Korea is edging towards developing a fully functioning ICBM that, in theory, could strike the US mainland.
Donald Trump’s administration has yet to publicly articulate its policy towards North Korea beyond voicing support for its alliances with Japan and South Korea, home to tens of thousands of US troops. The US president has previously described North Korea as a “big, big problem”.

“Not only Pukguksong-2 but newer independent strategic weapons will fly high vigorously in the sky off the ground as long as the United States and the puppet regime are going ahead with their nuclear threat to us and an exercise for invasion war against the North,” North Korea’s Rodong Sinmun newspaper, the mouthpiece of the ruling Workers’ party, said in a commentary last week.Monday’s tests were the second North Korea has conducted since Trump became president. Early last month, it test-launched a new intermediate-range missile – known as the Pukguksong-2, into the sea to coincide with Trump’s summit with Abe at his Florida estate.

Monday’s launches are believed to be in protest at the start last week of huge joint military exercises involving South Korea and the US that North Korea regards as a rehearsal for an invasion. Pyongyang threatened to take “strong retaliatory measures” after the annual military drills began last Wednesday but did not elaborate.
Kim ordered troops to “set up thorough countermeasures of a merciless strike against the enemy’s sudden air assault”, the state-run Korean Central News Agency said.
South Korea and the US insist that the Foal Eagle exercises, which will end in late April, are designed to test the allies’ preparedness for a serious military provocation from North Korea.



The launches could also be designed to communicate Pyongyang’s anger towards China, coming as Xi Jinping attended the 10-day annual national people’s congress in Beijing.
While China is the North’s only main ally and biggest donor and trading partner, Beijing has not attempted to hide its opposition to Pyongyang’s nuclear ambitions.
Last month, China announced a suspension of all coal imports from North Korea until the end of the year, depriving Pyongyang of an important source of foreign currency.
On Monday China’s foreign ministry said Beijing opposed the missile launch but noted that it had taken place as the US and South Korea were holding “large-scale military exercises targeting North Korea”. “All sides should exercise restraint and not do anything to irritate each other to worsen regional tensions,” a spokesman added.
Xinhua, China’s official news agency, urged China, Japan, North Korea, Russia, South Korea, and the US “to go back to the negotiating table to end wrangles and wrestles and reopen the long stalled six-party talks that once brought the Korean Peninsula nearest to denuclearisation with a settlement acceptable to all”.

North Korea is 'training for an attack on US bases in Japan': Kim Jong Un is pictured applauding missile launch as Trump warns him of 'dire consequences' and sends anti-missile system to the South


  • North Korea said Tuesday its missile launches were training for a strike on US bases in Japan
  • Three of four missiles shot landed in Japan's exclusive economic zone
  • The US has also begun deploying a missile defense system in South Korea to protect against North Korea
  • China said such US interference poses a 'clear, present and substantive threat to China's security interests'
  • The UN Security Council will have an emergency meeting Wednesday to discuss these developments
  • Donald Trump and Japanese PM Shinzo Abe say North Korea threat has 'entered a new stage'

Nuclear-armed North Korea said Tuesday its missile launches were training for a strike on US bases in Japan, as President Trump warned Kim Jong-Un of 'dire consequences' and deployed missiles to South Korea.
The latest declaration from Pyongyang comes the day after it launched four ballistic missiles 600 miles into the Sea of Japan, in an alarming show of strength.
On Tuesday, the regime also released pictures of King Jong-Un watching the launch of the missiles and applauding with a wild grin on his face. 
Three of the four missiles fired Monday came down provocatively close to US ally Japan, in waters that are part of its exclusive economic zone, representing a challenge to US President Donald Trump.
In a phone call, Trump and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe warned that the threat from North Korea had 'entered a new stage.'
Meanwhile, Washington and Seoul have agreed to deploy a US missile defense system called THAAD to South Korea, which has infuriated China, the North's key diplomatic ally and crucial to efforts to persuade it to change its ways. 
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 North Korea news sources showed the country's leader, Kim Jong-Un, smiling and clapping as the nuclear-armed nation launched three missiles in training for a strike on US bases in Japan
 North Korea news sources showed the country's leader, Kim Jong-Un, smiling and clapping as the nuclear-armed nation launched three missiles in training for a strike on US bases in Japan
The missiles were launched by the North Korean military
North Korea sources said the missiles were preparation for a strike on Japan
Three of the four missiles fired Monday, pictured, came down provocatively close to US ally Japan, in waters that are part of its exclusive economic zone, representing a challenge to US President Donald Trump
Kim Jong-Un, pictured, gave the order for the drill to start, North Korea's official Korea Central News Agency reported. 'Feasting his eyes on the trails of ballistic rockets,' he praised the Hwasong artillery unit that carried it out, the government news agency said
Kim Jong-Un, pictured, gave the order for the drill to start, North Korea's official Korea Central News Agency reported. 'Feasting his eyes on the trails of ballistic rockets,' he praised the Hwasong artillery unit that carried it out, the government news agency said
The news agency commented said the missiles are 'tasked to strike the bases of the US imperialist aggressor forces in Japan in contingency.' Pictured: The four missiles
The news agency commented said the missiles are 'tasked to strike the bases of the US imperialist aggressor forces in Japan in contingency.' Pictured: The four missiles
'The four ballistic rockets launched simultaneously are so accurate that they look like acrobatic flying corps in formation, he said,' the agency added, referring to Kim. Photographs published by  Rodong Sinmun newspaper showed Kim watching the missiles rise into the air
'The four ballistic rockets launched simultaneously are so accurate that they look like acrobatic flying corps in formation, he said,' the agency added, referring to Kim. Photographs published by Rodong Sinmun newspaper showed Kim watching the missiles rise into the air
And the UN Security Council scheduled an emergency meeting for Wednesday after a request by Washington and Tokyo to discuss additional measures following the launch.
Under UN resolutions, Pyongyang is barred from any use of ballistic missile technology, and the US ambassador to the UN, Nikki Haley, said on Twitter that the world 'won't allow' North Korea to continue on its 'destructive path.'
THADD, or Terminal High Altitude Area Defense, systems are in place in Hawaii and Guam to defend against North Korea but this is the first time the US has deployed one in South Korea, NBC News reported.
Parts of the THAAD system arrived in South Korea by Monday, despite Beijing's proclamation that the US defense system is 'a clear, present and substantive threat to China's security interests.' 
The Defense Ministry said the missiles flew about 539 nautical miles after being launched from Tongchang-ri (Sohae Satellite Launching Station). Three missiles fell within Japan's exclusive economic zone (pictured light blue), 188 miles to 215 miles west of the Oga Peninsula
The Defense Ministry said the missiles flew about 539 nautical miles after being launched from Tongchang-ri (Sohae Satellite Launching Station). Three missiles fell within Japan's exclusive economic zone (pictured light blue), 188 miles to 215 miles west of the Oga Peninsula
The attack by North Korea comes as global condemnation of the regime swelled. Pictured: A US Air Force reconnaissance aircraft landing at Osan Air Base near Seoul, South Korea, on March 6
The attack by North Korea comes as global condemnation of the regime swelled. Pictured: A US Air Force reconnaissance aircraft landing at Osan Air Base near Seoul, South Korea, on March 6
On Monday, the US military began deploying an anti-ballistic missile defense system, 'Terminal High-Altitude Area Defense' (THAAD), to South Korea following the attacks. The parts are arriving at Osan US Air Base in Pyeongtaek, south of Seoul
On Monday, the US military began deploying an anti-ballistic missile defense system, 'Terminal High-Altitude Area Defense' (THAAD), to South Korea following the attacks. The parts are arriving at Osan US Air Base in Pyeongtaek, south of Seoul
US President Donald Trump and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe warned that the threat from North Korea had 'entered a new stage.' Pictured: Abe and Trump at Trump's Mar-a-Lago resort on February 11
US President Donald Trump and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe warned that the threat from North Korea had 'entered a new stage.' Pictured: Abe and Trump at Trump's Mar-a-Lago resort on February 11
Trump has described North Korea as a 'big, big problem' and vowed to deal with the issue 'very strongly.'
White House spokesman Sean Spicer said Monday the administration was taking steps to 'enhance our ability to defend against North Korea's ballistic missiles.'
The New York Times reported at the weekend that under former president Barack Obama the US stepped up cyber attacks against North Korea to try to sabotage its missiles before launch or just as they lift off. 
Washington and Seoul have agreed to deploy a US missile defense system called THAAD to South Korea, which has infuriated China, the North's key diplomatic ally and crucial to efforts to persuade it to change its way. Pictured: A South Korea news broadcast of the missile test
Washington and Seoul have agreed to deploy a US missile defense system called THAAD to South Korea, which has infuriated China, the North's key diplomatic ally and crucial to efforts to persuade it to change its way. Pictured: A South Korea news broadcast of the missile test
A television displays news broadcast's infographics reporting on North Korea test-firing ballistic missiles, at a station in Seoul, South Korea, on Monday
A television displays news broadcast's infographics reporting on North Korea test-firing ballistic missiles, at a station in Seoul, South Korea, on Monday
The UN Security Council scheduled emergency meeting for Wednesday after a request by US and Japan to discuss additional measures following the launch. Under UN resolutions, North Korea is barred from any use of ballistic missile technology. Pictured: NK leader Kim Jong-Un
The UN Security Council scheduled emergency meeting for Wednesday after a request by US and Japan to discuss additional measures following the launch. Under UN resolutions, North Korea is barred from any use of ballistic missile technology. Pictured: NK leader Kim Jong-Un
Six sets of UN sanctions since its first nuclear test in 2006 have failed to halt North Korea's drive for what it insists are defensive weapons. Pictured center: Kim Jong-Un
Six sets of UN sanctions since its first nuclear test in 2006 have failed to halt North Korea's drive for what it insists are defensive weapons. Pictured center: Kim Jong-Un
Six sets of UN sanctions since its first nuclear test in 2006 have failed to halt North Korea's drive for what it insists are defensive weapons.
Kim Jong-Un gave the order for the drill to start, North Korea's official Korea Central News Agency (KCNA) reported.
'Feasting his eyes on the trails of ballistic rockets', he praised the Hwasong artillery unit that carried it out, it said.
'The four ballistic rockets launched simultaneously are so accurate that they look like acrobatic flying corps in formation, he said,' the agency added, referring to Kim.
The military units involved are 'tasked to strike the bases of the US imperialist aggressor forces in Japan in contingency,' KCNA said.
But a US defense official said that North Korea had launched five extended-range Scud missiles on Monday, with one crashing somewhere over the Korean peninsula.
A history of North Korea's missile and rocket launches
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THADD, or Terminal High Altitude Area Defense, systems are in place in Hawaii and Guam to defense against North Korea but this is the first time the US has deployed one in South Korea. Pictured: Military trucks at a US army unit in Dongducheon, South Korea
THADD, or Terminal High Altitude Area Defense, systems are in place in Hawaii and Guam to defense against North Korea but this is the first time the US has deployed one in South Korea. Pictured: Military trucks at a US army unit in Dongducheon, South Korea
Trump has described North Korea as a 'big, big problem' and vowed to deal with the issue 'very strongly.' Pictured: Elements of the THAAD anti-ballistic missile defense system being deployed to Osan US Air Base in South Korea
Trump has described North Korea as a 'big, big problem' and vowed to deal with the issue 'very strongly.' Pictured: Elements of the THAAD anti-ballistic missile defense system being deployed to Osan US Air Base in South Korea
Parts of the THAAD system arrived in South Korea by Monday, despite Beijing's proclamation that the US defense system is 'a clear, present and substantive threat to China's security interests.' Pictured: A South Korea sentry post at the Demilitarized Zone separating the Koreas
Parts of the THAAD system arrived in South Korea by Monday, despite Beijing's proclamation that the US defense system is 'a clear, present and substantive threat to China's security interests.' Pictured: A South Korea sentry post at the Demilitarized Zone separating the Koreas
Seoul and Washington last week began annual joint military exercises that always infuriate Pyongyang.
Kim Jong-Un ordered his military 'to keep highly alert as required by the grim situation in which an actual war may break out anytime,' KCNA reported, and to be ready to 'open fire to annihilate the enemies' when ordered.
A series of photographs published by the North's Rodong Sinmun newspaper showed Kim watching the missiles rise into the air and another of him smiling gleefully, clapping with other officials.
Military personnel walk past Japan's Ground Self-Defense Force missile interceptor unit, which was deployed to counter North Korea's launch of ballistic missiles
Military personnel walk past Japan's Ground Self-Defense Force missile interceptor unit, which was deployed to counter North Korea's launch of ballistic missiles

TERMINAL HIGH ALTITUDE AREA DEFENSE

Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) is  a US army anti-ballistic missile system currently deployed in Hawaii and Guam.
Operations to install THAAD in South Korea commenced Monday, March 6, following increased aggression from North Korea.
South Korea and the United States agreed last year to install the THAAD system, which China has repeatedly denounced as a threat to its security. 
On installing THAAD in SK, the Pacific Command said: '(THAAD) contributes to a layered missile defense system and enhances the US-ROK Alliance's defense against North Korean missile threats.'
The system is meant to intercept and destroy short and medium-range ballistic missiles during their final phase of flight. 
An AFP graphic illustrates THAAD's four-part response.
First, radar detects a ballistic missile and the incoming threat is identified and engaged.
The THAAD interceptor, which is composed of a booster and a 'kill vehicle,' is launched from the launcher, a vehicle that can carry up to eight interceptors. 
Fire control and communications support are on hand as the kill vehicle separates from the booster after launch.
The interceptor uses kinetic energy to destroy the ballistic missile.
The system is considered to be highly deployable and its manufacturer is Lockheed Martin.
It is able to target missiles from both inside and outside the Earth's atmosphere.
The system has had a perfect track record in flight testing since 2005, Lockheed Martin reports.
South Korea officials said Monday that four missiles were fired from Tongchang County in North Pyongan province, travelling about 620 miles. Pictured: South Korean Defense Minister Han Min-koo
South Korea officials said Monday that four missiles were fired from Tongchang County in North Pyongan province, travelling about 620 miles. Pictured: South Korean Defense Minister Han Min-koo
Pyongyang regularly issues threats against its enemies, and carried out two atomic tests and a series of missile launches last year, but Monday was only the second time its devices have come down in Japan's EEZ.
The launches came ahead of a trip by new US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson to the region.
Choi Kang, an analyst at the Seoul-based Asan Institute for Policy Studies, said the launch was a warning to Tokyo.
'North Korea is demonstrating that its target is not just limited to the Korean peninsula anymore but can extend to Japan at anytime and even the US,' he said. 
Kim Jong-Un ordered his military 'to keep highly alert as required by the grim situation in which an actual war may break out anytime.' Pictured: Kim Jong-Un guiding the test-fire of a missile in an undated photo
Kim Jong-Un ordered his military 'to keep highly alert as required by the grim situation in which an actual war may break out anytime.' Pictured: Kim Jong-Un guiding the test-fire of a missile in an undated photo

NORTH KOREA'S MISSILE SYSTEM 

It is not yet clear which type of missiles were shot by North Korea into the Sea of Japan Monday.
The nuclear-armed nation said Tuesday its missile launches were training for a strike on US bases in Japan.
Three of the four missiles fired Monday came down provocatively close to US ally Japan, in waters that are part of its exclusive economic zone.
North Korea could have as many as 1,000 missiles, a mixture of short-range, medium-range, intermediate-range and intercontinental-range.
Intercontinental missiles, which can be shot more than 3,500 miles, would, depending on its longevity, be able to hit the United States from North Korea.
Its program began in the 1970s with Scuds, or Soviet-developed missiles, that are believed to have been brought from Egypt.
By the 1980s North Korea was building Hwasongs, or unique versions of the Soviet missile.
The military was producing medium-range missiles, with a range of up to 2,000 miles, by the 1980s and had sold some of its artillery to other countries.
More recently, the country has developed missiles with significantly wider ranges including the Taepodong-2, whose range could be as high as 9,300 miles though is more conservatively estimated to be 3,700.
And it is believed that the country has been developing an even longer-ranging missile called the KN-08.
The Pentagon believes the Asian nation could have six or more KN-08 missiles. 
 Source: BBC
Pictured is a satellite image take in 2013 of the Sohae Satellite Launching Station  in Cholsan County, North Pyongan Province
Pictured is a satellite image take in 2013 of the Sohae Satellite Launching Station in Cholsan County, North Pyongan Province
Beijing has become increasingly frustrated with Pyongyang's nuclear and missile activities, and last month announced a suspension of all coal imports from the North until the end of the year - a crucial source of foreign currency.
Pyongyang wants to develop an intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) capable of reaching the US mainland - something Trump has vowed would not happen.
It has undoubtedly made progress in its efforts in recent years, although questions remain over its ability to master re-entry technology and miniaturize a nuclear weapon sufficiently to fit it onto a missile warhead.
Seoul said Monday that four missiles were fired from Tongchang County in North Pyongan province, travelling about 620 miles.

HOW INCREASINGLY BELLIGERENT KIM JONG-UN HAD HIS BROTHER ASSASSINATED WEEKS BEFORE MISSILE TEST 

Kim Jong-Un's half-brother, Kim Jong-Nam, was poisoned with a banned nerve agent called VX at Kuala Lumpur International Airport in Malaysia on February 13.
The death caused tensions between North Korea and Malaysia.
North Korea's ambassador to Malaysia was escorted to KLIA and put on a plane to Beijing today.
Shocking pictures show Kim Jong-Nam slumped in a chair having been poisoned. He later died on his way to the hospital
Shocking pictures show Kim Jong-Nam slumped in a chair having been poisoned. He later died on his way to the hospital
North Korea retaliated late Monday by ordering Malaysia's ambassador to Pyongyang to leave within 48 hours.
This frosting of diplomatic relations comes after a diplomatic dispute last month which erupted when Malaysian police rejected North Korean diplomats' demands to hand over Kim's body.
While North Korea has not acknowledged the dead man's identity, it has repeatedly disparaged the murder investigation and has accused Malaysia of conniving with its enemies. 
Indonesian national Siti Aisyah and Vietnamese national Doan Thi Huong have been charged with the murder and face the death penalty if found guilty.
Indonesian Siti Aisyah, 25, and Doan Thi Huong (pictured), 28, from Vietnam, have been charged with the murder and face the death penalty if found guilty
Indonesian Siti Aisyah (pictured), 25, and Doan Thi Huong, 28, from Vietnam, have been charged with the murder and face the death penalty if found guilty
Indonesian Siti Aisyah (right), 25, and Doan Thi Huong (left), 28, from Vietnam, have been charged with the murder and face the death penalty if found guilty
Seven other North Koreans are wanted in connection with the killing, including a diplomat and an airline employee who are believed to be in Malaysia 
Seven other North Koreans are wanted in connection with the killing, including a diplomat and an airline employee who are believed to be in Malaysia 
Airport CCTV footage shows them approaching the 45-year-old and apparently smearing his face with a cloth.
Police say he suffered a seizure and died less than 20 minutes later. Swabs of the dead man's face revealed traces of the VX nerve agent. 
Police seek another seven North Korean suspects in their probe, four of whom left Malaysia on the day of the murder. But on Friday they released the only North Korean they had arrested for lack of evidence.
South Korea says North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un had ordered the killing of his estranged half-brother, who had lived overseas for years but had voiced criticism of the regime, and engaged two outsiders to carry it out





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