Seoul: North Korea fires ballistic missile into sea

March 17, 2016
Nodong missiles (Yonhap file photo)

S. Koreans are speculating that it was one of these Nodong missiles that was fired into the sea early Friday in Korea. (Yonhap file photo)

SEOUL, South Korea (AP) — South Korea says North Korea has fired a ballistic missile into the sea.

South Korea’s Joint Chiefs of Staff says the missile flew 800 kilometers (500 miles) before crashing off the North’s east coast on Friday.

It wasn’t immediately known what type of missile was fired, but S. Koreans are speculating that it was a Nodong missile.

The launch came days after North Korean leader Kim Jong-un ordered tests of a nuclear warhead and ballistic missiles capable of carrying warheads. North Korea had also said it succeeded in a simulated test of a re-entry vehicle aimed at returning a nuclear warhead safely back to the atmosphere from space during a missile launch.

Taken together, Seoul analysts had said Pyongyang would likely fire a missile to test the re-entry technology that it needs acquire to develop a long-range nuclear missile.