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N.K. state media remains silent about latest missile launch

All Headlines 09:11 April 06, 2017

SEOUL, April 6 (Yonhap) -- North Korea's state media on Thursday remained silent about the country's firing of a ballistic missile into waters off its east coast a day earlier, spawning speculation that the launch may have ended in failure.

The Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) unveils reports about missile launches one day after the test-firings if they were successful under the inspection of leader Kim Jong-un.

But the country's state media did not release any report on the latest missile launch.

North Korea on Wednesday launched what appears to be "a type of KN-15 intermediate-range ballistic missile," also known as the Pukguksong-2, near the eastern city of Sinpo, just two days before summit talks between the leaders of the U.S. and China.

The missile flew some 60 kilometers, far shorter than the one that traversed about 500 kilometers in February in North Korea's first test of the Pukguksong-2.

In February, South Korea's military said that North Korea appears to have employed technologies used in submarine-launched ballistic missiles (SLBMs) to develop a new type of intermediate-range missile.

The military has not given an assessment of whether Wednesday's missile launch was successful or not.

Some analysts said that North Korea might have fired off an upgraded version of the Pukguksong-2 missile or conducted the flight-test of an early version of an intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM).

Citing a U.S. defense official, AFP reported that the latest missile is believed to be a medium-range Scud ER or an upgraded version of a short-range Scud-C missile.

North Korea's leader said in his New Year's message that the country has entered the final stage of preparing to launch an ICBM, which targets the U.S. mainland.

This photo unveiled by the communist country's Korean Central News Agency on Feb. 13, 2017, shows North Korea's launch of a new type of intermediate-range missile, also known as the Pukguksong-2. (For Use Only in the Republic of Korea. No Redistribution) (Yonhap)

sooyeon@yna.co.kr
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