DPRK yet to confirm suspected missile launches

Updated: 2016-06-22 12:12


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PYONGYANG -- The Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) has not confirmed the suspected test-launch of two missiles on Wednesday morning.

The state-run KCNA news agency told Xinhua over the phone that it was not aware of the missile launches and asked Xinhua to wait for official news.

South Korea's Yonhap news agency quoted the Joint Chiefs of Staff as saying that the DPRK launched a second missile, which was believed to be a Musudan, at about 8:05 am Seoul time (2305 GMT Tuesday) from Wonsan on the east coast, two hours after the DPRK test-fired a ballistic missile, which Seoul said was presumably a failure.

The latest intermediate-range missile launch was the sixth test-firing of its kind by Pyongyang after the five earlier launches were all believed to have failed.

The South Korean military said it is not clear whether Pyongyang's second launch on Wednesday was a success or not. It is believed that a ballistic missile is required to fly at least 300 km to be considered successful in test-firing. The second missile launched on Wednesday flew about 400 km.

In case of a successful missile launch, the KCNA usually reports the news in the following early morning. In case of a failure, the DPRK will simply keep silence.

The first test-launch on April 15 failed as the missile exploded in mid-air several seconds after take-off. The April 28 launch also failed as those exploded in mid-air or crashed in waters. The fourth test was estimated to have exploded on its mobile launcher even before take-off, according to the South Korean military.

The missile launches came ahead of June 25, the 66th anniversary of the outbreak of the Korean War. And the DPRK is scheduled to convene the fourth session of the 13th Supreme People's Assembly, the country's highest legislative body on June 29.