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N. Korea fired 31 ballistic missiles in past 5 years

All News 10:31 July 27, 2016

SEOUL, July 27 (Yonhap) -- North Korea has launched a total of 31 ballistic missiles in the past five years under Kim Jong-un, twice the number of missiles test-fired when his late father was in power, the defense ministry here said Wednesday.

North Korea has test-fired 16 short-range Scuds with a range of 300 to 1,000 kilometers, six mid-range Rodongs that can fly 1300-1500 km, six intermediate-range Musudans with a range of 3,500-4,000 km and three submarine-launched ballistic missiles since late 2011. The incumbent leader inherited the country from his father Kim Jong-il.

"The junior Kim's focus on ballistic missiles is aimed at improving North Korea's capability to launch nuclear-tipped missiles," a ministry official said.

The launches carried out under the current leaders are estimated to have cost more than 110 billion won (US$97 million) which is a large sum of money for the cash-strapped nation. In sharp contrast, during Kim Jong-il's 18-year-long reign, the communist country launched 16 ballistic missiles, the ministry estimated.

When the three rounds of long-range rocket launches and the fourth nuclear tests conducted during the current regime is taken into account, the overall costs could reach hundreds of billions of won, local sources claimed.

kyongae.choi@yna.co.kr
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