North Korea's July 4th fireworks show
Seven missiles were fired Saturday into the Sea of Japan. None were the long-range missiles that could reach Hawaii.
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It fired seven miles into the Sea of Japan. But none of these were the intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBMs) that everyone has been expecting. The seven fired today could not reach Hawaii.
These missiles traveled about 400 kilometers (about 250 miles), according to South Korean military officials interviewed by Yonhap news agency. The South Korean news agency added that these might have been modified, longer range missiles.
South Korean officials did not rule out the possibility that what the North fired might have actually been Rodong missiles -- modifications of Scuds -- saying their flight distances may have been shortened deliberately.
Rodong-type missiles have an estimated range of 1,000-1,500km and are able to reach many parts of Japan.
In any case, these were not the long-range Taepodong-2 missiles that North Korea caught everyone's attention with three years ago Independence Day. At this point, there are no reports of activity around the launch facilities in
North Korea where the long-range missiles are fire from.
Nonetheless, Japan and South Korean officials described this latest salvo as a "provocative" act.
South Korea's joint chiefs of staff said the missile test violated three United Nations Security Council resolutions, including the latest one on June 12 that increased sanctions on North Korea after its May 25 missile test.
"It is a serious act of provocation against the security of neighbouring countries, including our country," Chief Cabinet Secretary Takeo Kawamura said.