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Wednesday, June 22, 2016, 12:50

DPRK yet to confirm test-firing of 2 missiles

By Agencies

DPRK yet to confirm test-firing of 2 missiles

SEOUL, Republic of Korea - The Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) on Wednesday fired two suspected powerful new Musudan mid-range missiles, US and Republic of Korea (ROK) military officials said, but at least one of the launches apparently failed, Pyongyang's fifth such reported flop since April.

DPRK, however, has not confirmed the suspected test-launch of two missiles.

The state-run KCNA news agency told Xinhua over the phone that it was not aware of the missile launches and asked Xinhua to wait for official news.

In case of a successful missile launch, the KCNA usually reports the news in the following early morning. In case of a failure, the DPRK will simply keep silence.

Despite the repeated failures, DPRK's determination in testing the Musudan worries Washington and its allies, Tokyo and Seoul, because the missile's potential 3,500-kilometer range could target much of Asia and the Pacific, including US military bases there.

Each new test — apparently linked to a command from DPRK leader Kim Jong-un — also likely provides valuable insights to Pyongyang's scientists and military officials as they push toward their goal of a nuclear and missile program that can threaten the US mainland. Pyongyang earlier this year conducted a nuclear test and launched a long-range rocket that outsiders say was a cover for a test of banned missile technology.

A statement from ROK's Joint Chiefs of Staff (JCS) said a suspected first Musudan launch from the east coast city of Wonsan failed early Wednesday morning but gave few other details. Later Wednesday, the JCS said DPRK fired another suspected Musudan, but it wasn't immediately clear if it succeeded.

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