Enlarge / North Korean images of a Pukguksong-2 missile launch in February.
Another test of the improved solid-fueled missile was conducted this morning.
Wednesday morning, the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea successfully launched what the US Pacific Command has identified as a KN-15 medium-range ballistic missile—a solid-fuel rocket based on enhancements to the submarine-launched “Pukguksong” missile (“North Star,” designated by the US as the KN-11) the DPRK tested in 2015 and last summer.
This is the second launch of a KN-15 (called the Pukguksong-2 by North Korea) and it raises concerns that the North Korean regime may be working on a solid-fuel intercontinental ballistic missile.
The test comes the day before China’s President Xi Jinping begins his visit with President Donald Trump at Trump’s Mar-A-Lago resort in Florida.
Secretary of State Rex Tillerson acknowledged the launch in a remarkably brief statement. “North Korea launched yet another intermediate range ballistic missile,” Tillerson said. “The United States has spoken enough about North Korea. We have no further comment”
There are signs that North Korea will be doing more to get the world’s attention during the Xi visit.
Activity at a nuclear weapons test site observed by satellite imagery indicates that another nuclear weapons test is imminent.
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