North Korea halved the real range of their ballistic missile in its latest test earlier this week, which fell into the waters of the Pacific Ocean after passing over Japan, the South Korean Defence Ministry said on Thursday.
The North Korean regime’s intermediate-range ballistic missile Hwasong-12, launched on Tuesday, was fired at a “normal” angle but at half its range, according to a ministry report.
The missile launched from Pyongyang flew over part of Japan’s northern territory and travelled about 2,700 km before falling into the Pacific some 1,180 km off Cape Erimo, but its actual range would be between 4,500 and 5,000 km, according to the report.
It said the possible range would be sufficient to reach the US military bases on Guam Island, which North Korea has threatened to target its vicinity with missiles, a rhetoric that heightened tensions between Pyongyang and Washington, reports Efe news.
North Korean warned on Wednesday that the latest test was a “warning” for the US and a “meaningful prelude to containing Guam”, while its leader Kim Jong-un called for more missile launches into the area.
North Korea’s 14th successful missile test has earned the country new criticism and condemnation from the international community, including China, its biggest ally.
In his last statement, US President Donald Trump said that “talking is not the answer” with Pyongyang.
“The US has been talking to North Korea, and paying them extortion money, for 25 years,” Trump tweeted on Wednesday.
Trump had already warned North Korea earlier that “all options are on the table” and said that the regime’s latest missile launch is a further sign of Pyongyang’s “contempt for its neighbours, for minimum standards of acceptable international behaviour”.