S. Korea will not change THAAD agreement with United States, security adviser says

S. Korea will not change THAAD agreement with United States, security adviser says

Pyongyang launched what appeared to be several land-to-sea missiles early on Thursday off its east coast; they flew about 200km, said South Korea’s military.

SEOUL, South Korea (AP) – North Korea said Friday it has test-launched a new type of cruise missile capable of striking US and South Korean warships “at will”, as South Korea found a suspected North Korean drone near the tense border between the rivals.

The EU said it would freeze the assets of 14 more people and ban their travel to Europe in line with a UN Security Council resolution last week for more sanctions over Pyongyang’s ballistic missile tests.

The North has carried out two atomic tests and dozens of missile launches since the beginning of previous year in its quest to develop a missile capable of delivering a nuclear warhead to the continental United States-something President Trump has vowed “won’t happen“.

South Korea has no plan for changes to its agreement with the United States that will fundamentally change the ongoing deployment of the THAAD missile defense system here, a senior security advisor to South Korean President Moon Jae-in said Friday.

This is the 11 missile test of the Kim Jong-un regime since Trump became US President, and the 5 since Moon became President of South Korea.

They include a group of 12 workers from a restaurant in China run by the North Korean government, whom Seoul says defected voluntarily.

The North says it needs nuclear weapons to forestall the threat of a U.S. attack.

Unlike its practice with ballistic-missile tests, which are banned under worldwide law, the U.S. did not publicly comment on this launch.

The launch comes a day after Moon suspended the deployment of a controversial USA missile defense system, the Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) system, pending an full environmental assessment.

North Korea is believed to have figured out how to mount a miniaturized nuclear bomb on a ballistic missile, the re-entry vehicle is suspected to have survived the IRBM test, and the North’s engine technology has improved.

The launches Thursday were North Korea’s fourth missile test since Moon’s inauguration on May 10.

KCNA said the test also touted the combat abilities of a new and apparently homemade transporter erector launcher. The missiles flew for 200 kilometers before splashing down in worldwide waters in the Sea of Japan, according to the South Korean military. Moreover, A US attack against the north would be disastrous.

During his 2017 New Year’s Day speech, North Korean Supreme Leader Kim Jong Un said that his country had “entered the final stage of preparation for the test launch of an ICBM”.

North Korea on May 14 premiered a powerful new midrange missile that it said could carry a heavy nuclear warhead.

Chairing his first full meeting of the National Security Council, the new South Korean leader ordered the military to maintain full readiness to react immediately to any North Korean provocations.

Analyst Kim Dong-yub at Seoul’s Institute for Far Eastern Studies said the projectiles, which showed longer range than North Korea’s previously known KN-01 anti-ship cruise missiles, were likely from a new cruise missile system the North displayed during a massive April 15 military parade.

The launch, said to be personally supervised by leader Kim, is the third test to be carried out in three weeks and comes amid growing tensions with the USA over its weapons programme.