North Korea Conducts First Missile Test in Two Months

Nov 28 2017 - 14 Comments
By Tom Demerly

Missile Test Reported to have Landed in East Sea Between Korea and Japan.

Defense sources and the Japanese Prime Minister’s office have confirmed the launch of a new North Korean ballistic missile test. The test, which took place within the last several hours from South Pyongan Province early Wednesday Nov. 29 local time, is now being reported across international media.

“We confirm that we have detected a North Korean ballistic missile launch. The missile is still travelling towards the direction to the East Sea, as we are monitoring right now,” a South Korean military official told media in South Korea several hours ago. Other unconfirmed sources indicate the missile has since landed in the sea.

Sometime after the first mentions began to appear in Asian media the Japanese Prime Minister’s Office tweeted, “A missile was launched from North Korea which appears to have landed within Japan’s exclusive economic zone. As soon as new information comes in, we will let you know.”

The Pentagon tweeted, “We detected a probable missile launch from North Korea. We are in the process of assessing the situation and will provide details when available.”

Several U.S. intelligence gathering aircraft were airborne during the test, including an RC-135S Cobra Ball.

The last North Korean ballistic missile test took place in September 2017. That missile was identified as a Hwasong-12, referred to in the U.S. as the KN-17. The Hwasong-12 has an estimated range of between 2,300 and 3,700 miles (3,700-6000 kilometers).

The type of missile in today’s test has not yet been reported.

Reports from earlier this week from U.S. intelligence sources to Reuters news agency suggested North Korea intended a missile launch test “within days”.

Today’s test is the first North Korean missile test since September 15, 2017. (Photo: Phoenix777)

This latest reported missile test is significant since it follows a brief period of relative calm in the region since the September 15, 2017 test that may have provided the opportunity for new back-channel communication via China in the interest of maintaining stability in the region.

Top image: File photo of previous North Korean missile test from 2017. (Yonhap)

  • leroy

    I think we’ve shown enough patience. If I were President Trump I’d order a massive attack, and get this situation handled once and for all. The longer we wait, the less chance there is for a successful strike against this demented regime. Delay no longer.

    • Holztransistor

      This article is well-written and it sheds a different light on the “game” Kim is playing.

      The crisis is also used by the U.S. to sell their ABM systems and make other countries dependent on the U.S. that way. But why haven’t they tried to shot down a missile. Afraid that the system might fail and that it is not working as promised? Would be huge loss of face for the U.S.

    • OR

      Hmm, so massive attack right? Kill as many as possible for a missile test, correct? What is interesting you are not even considering any picefull resolution ..and who is mad in this situation? Look, no offence but I think there already enough dangerous people with power on Earth.

      • leroy

        I take no offense because my words mean nothing. Nada. Zip! I am nobody, but these words. Oh, these words reflect the thinking of the U.S. President:

        “U.S. Ambassador Nikki Haley says North Korea’s ballistic missile launch “brings us closer to war” that the U.S. doesn’t seek.

        She told an emergency meeting of the U.N. Security Council on Wednesday that if war comes as a result of further acts of “aggression” like the latest launch “make no mistake the North Korean regime will be utterly destroyed.”

        Haley says the Trump administration warned North Korea that its future is in the hands of its leaders and the choice was theirs.”'brings-us-closer-to-war

        Kim is playing a very dangerous game. One which could end up in disaster.

      • Andrew Pearce

        Who said anything about killing as much as possible? There are such things as soft attacks. For instance the one that Obama was going to do with Iran if they didn’t sign the treaty. Kill there computer systems. Fry there electronics. Put them back into the stone age and then they have nothing to fight us with.

    • Pepe Le Cox

      Why the US need to be patience? who entitled you as world police? The NK’s neighbours protests, but thats all they do, they are not brawling about attack NK. In the end, the US will take all the weight of this new war on their shoulder. And I will quote to John Kerry about this kind of relations with other countries, asking to US bomb someone else:

      “The leaders of Israel, Saudi Arabia and Egypt all pressurized the US to bomb Iran prior to negotiations on the 2015 nuclear deal, former US secretary of state John Kerry said. He described the proposition as a “trap in lots of ways” for Washington.
      Kerry, who chaired the US Senate Foreign Relations Committee before heading the US diplomatic corps in 2013, recalled how he met Saudi King Abdullah, Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in his capacity as legislator. All three leaders lobbied him for military action against Iran. “Each of them said to me: You have to bomb Iran, it’s the only thing they are going to understand,” he said.”

      “I remember that conversation with President Mubarak. I looked at him and said: It’s easy for you to say. We go bomb them and I bet you’ll be the first guy out there the next day to criticize us for doing it. And he went: ‘Of course, ha-ha-ha-ha!’” Kerry said. “It was a trap in a lot of ways. But more importantly, Prime Minister Netanyahu was genuinely agitating towards action.”

  • leroy

    Before you start thinking ol’ Leroy is out in the weeds on this one, that my thinking is “warmongering”, take a look at this little tidbit:

    “America is not at war with North Korea, but polls show that a large portion of voters … support a preemptive strike by President Trump.”

    There is no alternative, and I do not want to face a North Korea in 10 years armed with 200 H-bombs that can hit cities all over the world. You Europeans do know they can fire over the North Pole, don’t you?

    And lest any of my Italian friends don’t know it, The Vatican is the #1 target of Islamic terrorists. Number One! They’d like nothing more than to buy a bomb from Kim Jong Un and use it to destroy the foremost symbol of Christianity.

    Or how about this. North Korea calls the sanctions an act of war, and demands free food and energy or they will attack a major U.S. or allied city. Think that isn’t coming?

    There is only one solution here, and we better execute it sooner rather than later. Give a dictator some breathing room, and the results are predictable. Never forget what happened in Europe in 1938. The result of appeasement was 50 million plus dead. This time – it’s gonna be worse unless the U.S. and our allies act.

  • James Tabron

    as can be verifed NK is shooting blanks, so trumpesqe or other actions would result in massive loss of life , homelessness and famine.

  • leroy

    Beijing had better fully understand. Japan and South Korea will go nuclear. And I wouldn’t be surprised if we soon put nukes back in South Korea. The repercussions of Kim’s actions will reverberate throughout Asia, and subsequent consequences could end the “Asian Miracle”. Quickly!

    • Andrew Pearce

      They should already be publicly talking about this. That outta put HUGE pressure on China and NK.

  • leroy

    I like a clear speaking U.S. Senator:

    “Dictators have one thing in common—they want to stay alive; if Kim Jong Un wants to stay alive, he needs to stop. If he doesn’t, I can assure you based upon all of the activity that I have been involved with on Armed Services and also in foreign affairs—he is playing a dangerous game where he will not only be annihilated but other people will suffer greatly.”

    Unfortunately tough talk isn’t enough – we need tough action. The Kim Family has totally violated the Korean Armistice, they’ve torn it up just as Hitler tore up the Munich Agreement (he referred to it as “Just a piece of paper”), so we are now, and have been for quite a while, in a de facto state of war. The U.S. and our Asian and European allies must act accordingly.

  • leroy

    Winter would be a good time. We’d totally control the airspace so every time they fired an artillery or rocket piece, missile, we’d pick it up on infrared (probably a drone or an F-35, geostationary satellite) and immediately engage precision return fire.

    We probably already have their systems dialed in ready to be obliterated, but if they move, we’ll know. Seoul will survive, the ROK will survive, North Korea will not. My guess is the only reason we haven’t hit them yet is because they haven’t proven out a working reentry vehicle/warhead. But the minute we see that preparation, well – THAT I believe is our tipping point. President Trump and General Mattis’s Red Line. That’s cutting it far too close for me.

    Oh – THAAD can take care of any incoming potential nuclear-tipped missiles. And once we see them launch that, then, North Korea ends. Period.

  • leroy

    OK, here’s the bottom-line fact on why we haven’t attacked yet – via 38North, the pre-eminent website on DPRK missile development and capabilities:

    “North Korea appears to have taken another minor step forward as it attempts to mature its ICBM technology. Many more tests are needed to establish the missile’s performance and reliability, and it remains unclear if the North’s engineers have attempted to validate the efficacy of the missile’s re-entry vehicle. Though North Korea continues to progress, our assessments have not changed in that a viable ICBM capable of reaching the west coast of the US mainland still remains about a year away.”

    I still say the longer we wait, the more risk we incur. Kim won’t stop his nuke program unless made to do so through robust kinetic persuasion.

  • leroy

    The political winds in both countries are at odds with your assessment. Time will tell, but if we are not able to destroy Kim’s nukes, IMO it’s just a matter of time before both countries, and others in the region, go nuclear. Given the history of war in Asia, that’s not a good thing.