Analysts Confirm North Korea Launched First Ballistic Missile Since 2017

  • Written by Zero Hedge
  • Published in Economics

Analysts have studied a report from North Korea's Korean Central News Agency, which was accompanied by a few images, and determined that the "projectile" fired by North Korea Saturday morning, was, in fact, a short-range ballistic missile.

In addition to images released by KCNA, independent analysts managed to capture images of the launch.

Our friends at @planetlabs got a shot of a North Korean short-range ballistic missile just after launch at 10:54 am local time. @DaveSchmerler found it. pic.twitter.com/aIZ0Dcc1u1

— Jeffrey Lewis (@ArmsControlWonk) May 5, 2019

Lucky shot! Captured by @planetlabs Planetscope satellite at 0154 UTC (1054 local) on Saturday as it overflew Wonsan, North Korea. pic.twitter.com/g5QgVI8hJf

— Martyn Williams (@martyn_williams) May 5, 2019

But before Korea hawks in the US start accusing Kim Jong Un of playing Washington with his pursuit of denuclearization, Bloomberg reports that, while the test may have violated United Nations sanctions on North Korea, it appears to have stopped short of breaking Kim's promise to Trump to refrain from testing long-range missiles that could threaten the US. This would suggest that the launch was merely a sign of frustration and a warning by the North.

In a Saturday tweet, Trump brushed off reports about the missile launch, insisting that Kim wouldn't do anything to jeopardize talks. It appears he was correct in that assessment.

Missiles

South Korea’s Defense Ministry issued a statement on Sunday saying "based on what was analyzed until now, what we understand is that (North Korea) launched many 240mm, 300mm multiple rocket launchers including new model of tactical guided weapons & assess that the range is about 70-240km."

Lindsey Graham, one of the most prominent North Korea hawks, warned in a tweet that the launches could "change the equation in a dangerous and dramatic fashion."

I appreciate the historic efforts President Trump and his team have made to solve the North Korean nuclear threat peacefully.
The President has been personally engaged in an unprecedented manner and shown a willingness to find a win-win solution. https://t.co/2eFBr6TC0e

— Lindsey Graham (@LindseyGrahamSC) May 4, 2019

I appreciate the historic efforts President Trump and his team have made to solve the North Korean nuclear threat peacefully.
The President has been personally engaged in an unprecedented manner and shown a willingness to find a win-win solution. https://t.co/2eFBr6TC0e

— Lindsey Graham (@LindseyGrahamSC) May 4, 2019

One analysts claimed that while the launch was undoubtedly the most significant provocation from the North since hostilities were put on hold in late 2017, South Korea appeared to be backing away from forcefully condemning its northern neighbor with its language describing the missile as a "projectile," which appeared to suggest that the launch might have just been an...

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