South Korea says it will abide by USA missile defense agreement


"But this is just not a long distance for its strike today", the statement said, hinting that North Korea has ICBM capability.

In the article, titled, "US hostile policy is bound to go bankrupt", the regime goads the USA president, who tweeted at the beginning of this year that North Korea could not develop a nuclear weapon capable of reaching American soil.

"The strategic weapons tests conducted by the DPRK clearly proved that the time of its ICBM test is not a long way off at all", the piece went on.

"If North Korean tests continue at the same pace as they have so far this year, we should expect a new missile test every 2.1 weeks and another 13-14 tests", Troy Stangarone wrote in an article for the KEI's The Peninsula website.

A North Korean drone found last week by a South Korean civilian had spied on the Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (Thaad) antimissile site in Seongju County, North Gyeongsang, before crashing into a mountain in Inje, Gangwon, on its way back to the North, according to local military officials. "I believe North Korea has the technology and only the stage left is to test it".

Ten of the photos were of US missile launchers and a radar system installed in the southeastern town of Seongju earlier this year, while the rest show mostly residential areas, farming fields and other less-sensitive areas in the South, the official said.

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North Korea fired what appeared to be several land-toship missiles off its east coast on June 8, South Korea's military said, the latest in a fast-paced series of missile tests defying world pressure to rein in its weapons programme.

North Korea has conducted 10 known missile tests so far in 2017.

Washington has been pressing China, North Korea's neighbor, ally and main trading partner, to further curb trade with the country, but has so far stopped short of an all-out campaign of "secondary sanctions" against Chinese entities violating United Nations sanctions by dealing with Pyongyang.

Last month, a top American military commander in Seoul said the deployment of THAAD in South Korea is seen as a critical part of efforts to lessen North Korea's leverage from asymmetric weapons.

Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Joseph Dunford, who was also at the hearing, did not identify North Korea as the number one threat, but he did include it as one of five key challenges alongside Russia, China, Iran and violent Islamic fundamentalist groups.