North Korea Ballistic Missile Tests

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North Korea test-fired a ballistic missile, defying warnings from the United States and international community.

The missile was probably a medium-range weapon known as a KN-17 and appears to have broken up within minutes of taking off.

The missile, fired from the Pukchang region in a northeasterly direction, reached an altitude of 71 km (44 miles) before disintegrating a few minutes into flight.

The North has been conducting missile and nuclear weapons related activities at an unprecedented rate since the beginning of the year and is believed to have made some progress in developing intermediate-range and submarine-launched missiles.

The United States has been hoping North Korea’s sole major ally, China, can bring pressure to bear. But China says the United States must not over-estimate the influence it has over its neighbor.

North Korea rattled world powers in February when it successfully launched a new intermediate-range ballistic missile that it said could carry a nuclear weapon. It also successfully tested ballistic missiles on March 6.

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