1. Main
  2. Learn
  3. Politics
  4. Military

N. Korea slams South's missile test 'farce'

©Reuters/Kim Hong-Ji ©Reuters/Kim Hong-Ji

North Korea has slammed the South's recent ballistic missile test, calling it a "farce" aimed at showing off Seoul's military strength in the face of threats from Pyongyang, AFP reports.

Seoul said Friday it had successfully test-fired a new ballistic missile capable of carrying a one-tonne payload up to 500 kilometres (310 miles), suggesting it could hit any part of the North.

The launch was carried out on March 23, just three days before the North test-fired two medium-range ballistic missiles capable of striking Japan.

A spokesman for the North's military heaped derision on Seoul's rocket test late Saturday, pointing to its range of "just 500 kilometres."

"Great irony is that (the South is) claiming that they did a great job by conducting a test-fire of a ballistic missile with a range of just 500 kilometres," state-run KCNA quoted the official as saying.

Tensions between the two Koreas were heightened further by rare exchanges of fire across the tense Yellow Sea border on March 31.

The North dropped more than 100 shells across the sea border during a live-fire drill, prompting Seoul to fire back about 300 volleys.

The North's spokesman claimed the South's "poor military reaction" to the drill drew criticism at home, leading it to carry out the missile test to "calm the mounting accusation and derision".

"This farce only brought disgrace to them," said the spokesman.

The isolated and nuclear-armed North is known to have mid-range Rodong-class missiles capable of hitting targets 1,000-1,500 kilometres away.

Pyongyang's test-firing of two Rodong missiles on March 26 -- its first launch of a mid-range missile since 2009 -- followed a series of rocket and short-range missile tests by the North in recent weeks.

The launches were seen as an angry protest at Seoul-Washington joint army drills ongoing in the South, which the North habitually slams as a rehearsal for invasion.

South Korea's new missile was developed under an agreement reached with the US in 2012 to near-treble the range of the South's ballistic missile systems.

In return, Seoul accepts limits on its missile capabilities.

The 2012 agreement -- denounced as a provocation by Pyongyang -- allows Seoul to deploy missiles with a maximum range of 800 kilometres.

The US also stations 28,500 troops in the South and guarantees a nuclear "umbrella" in case of atomic attack.

The United States said Sunday it plans to send two more missile defence warships to Japan to counter the threat posed by North Korea's "provocative" actions.


Nobel prizewinner proposes a new city in KZ
New abnormal snowfalls expected in Kazakhstan
Huge glacier retreat triggered in 1940s
Hyperloop construction begins in Las Vegas
"Moonlight" to top Spirit Awards nominations
Oil prices fall due to investors uncertainty
New dwarf galaxy discovered around Milky Way
Kanat Islam becomes a top ten WBO boxer
World oil prices continue to rise
Kazakhstan expects warming - Kazhydromet
Merkel to seek fourth term as chancellor
Sale of Tintin drawings set to break records
US, EU stocks fall as markets focus on dollar
Pacific leaders urged to defend free trade
EU warns eight nations on budget deficit
Universiade-2017: Athletic Village is ready
Bob Dylan can't make Nobel ceremony
Messi will never leave Barca - club president
Google, Facebook take aim at 'fake' news
Aerosmith announces Europe 'farewell' tour
Putin, Trump to normalise US-Russia ties
At least 10 hurt in southern Turkey blast
6.2 quake hits western Japan
OPEC agrees shock oil output cut
Israeli ex-president and Nobel laureate Peres dies
Germany blocks WhatsApp data transfers to Facebook
32,000 arrested in Turkey coup probe
Youth to the fore as Milan fashion week opens
Xenophobia threatening peace in eastern Germany
Four-in-10 Japanese are virgins: poll
Sweden re-militarises Baltic island of Gotland
China to launch second space laboratory: Xinhua
More than a billion stars mapped in Milky Way: ESA
Boxing: Golovkin eyes Saunders after stopping Brook
Kazakhstan shifts PM to security chief
Oil prices gain despite rising OPEC supply forecast
US to give Philippines military planes
Singapore wages war on Zika-bearing mosquitoes
Italy quake death toll nears 250
Viral photos add fuel to French burkini debate
18 dead as Italy struck by powerful quake
Japan's first lady visits Pearl Harbor
Pokemon's a no-go on Bangkok's roads
July was Earth's hottest month in modern times
Pakistan rock climbers scale new heights