Thursday, 9 June 2011

North Korea Raise Tension By Test Firing Short Range Missile

North Korea test-fired a KN-06 missile in the middle of last week from a coastal area of North Pyongan Province, a South Korean intelligence source said Wednesday.

North Korea has attempted to increase the range of the KN-06 missile, a more accurate version of the KN-01 and 02. The KN-06 is a surface-to-air missile, whereas the KN-01 and 02 are surface-to-surface missiles.

The KN-06 reportedly has horizontal range of up to 110 km, and can be fired up to 20 km in the air. Its forerunners have a horizontal range of 120 km. The KN-06 was unveiled in October last year during a military parade where North Korean leader Kim Jong-il’s heir apparent Jong-un made his first public appearance. The North has not launched any short-range missiles since it test-fired five KN-02 missiles over the East Sea in October 2009.

The firing comes after the North recently threatened to cut off a military hotline and stop engaging with the South altogether.

Washington has urged North Korea to refrain from any further missile tests. Speaking to reporters in a daily press briefing on Wednesday, U.S. State Department spokesman Mark Toner said although the U.S. is not in a position to confirm the reports, it has witnessed such tests being conducted by the regime in the past and will press Pyongyang to desist.

Toner added Washington is closely monitoring the situation on the Korean Peninsula.