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    North Korean leader Kim Jong Un visits the Command of the Strategic Force of the Korean People's Army (KPA) in an unknown location in North Korea in this undated photo released by North Korea's Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) on August 15, 2017

    Just a 'Prelude': Pyongyang Says Missile Launch First Step Toward Guam Attack

    © REUTERS / KCNA
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    Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) Supreme Leader Kim Jong-un said on August 30 that the previous day's ballistic missile test comprised "the first step of the military operation of the [Korean People's Army] in the Pacific and a meaningful prelude to containing Guam," North Korean state media reports.

    Kim was reportedly onsite for the Hwasong-12 missile launch on Tuesday. The Hwasong-12 is reportedly the projectile Kim has in mind for his threatened multi-salvo attack on Guam, a US territory approximately 3,430 kilometers southeast of the Korean Peninsula. 

    Tuesday's test-launched missile flew over parts of Japan before dropping into the ocean about 733 miles east of the northern Japanese island of Hokkaido.

    North Korea's state-run news agency KCNA has confirmed that the projectile was a Hwasong-12 missile, corroborating reports from the Japanese Defense Ministry.  

    KCNA also says the missile launch was done to counter the joint US-South Korean military drills launched a week ago, which this year include a 'nuclear war game.' 

    Coincidentally, Tokyo conducted its first Patriot Advanced Capability-3 (PAC-3) missile intercept defense system on Tuesday in coordination with US forces at the US Air Force post at Yokota Air Base in western Tokyo and at the US Marine Corps Air Station Iwakuni in Japan's Yamaguchi Prefecture. 

    Following the latest launch, US President Donald Trump declared that "all options are on the table" regarding what South Korea, Japan and US forces might do in response. 

    The White House said Trump and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe spoke about the situation and concurred that the DPRK "poses a grave and growing direct threat" to the US and its allies South Korea and Japan.

    North Korea has test-launched dozens of ballistic missiles since Kim Jong-un took power, and conducted two nuclear tests in 2016. Earlier this month, it was revealed that some Japanese and US intelligence analysts believe Pyongyang may already be able to attach a nuclear payload to a ballistic missile. 

    Related:

    WATCH: Japan, South Korea Bare Fangs Over Daring North Korean Missile Test
    Berlin Calls for Sanctions on North Korea After Latest Missile Launch
    North Korea Missile Launch Undermines Efforts to Establish Dialogue - UN
    Tags:
    ballistic missile, Hwasong-12, Korean Central News Agency (KCNA), Donald Trump, Kim Jong-un, Democratic Republic of North Korea (DPRK), Japan
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