All national dailies wrote that Blue House announced on Thursday that a standing committee of the national security council concluded that the two missiles launched by the DPRK on Thursday were “a new type of short-range ballistic missile.” According to the committee, the first flew about 430 km and the second about 690 km, and both reached an altitude of about 50 km before falling into the sea. The dailies report this was the first time for North Korea to fire short-range ballistic missiles, which violates UN sanctions resolutions, since May 9.
The papers wrote that the ROK military had announced earlier that both of the projectiles flew about 430 km, but revised the flight distance of the second one to 690 km after reassessing it based on U.S. analysis. Noting that the range of the second missile would bring all of South Korea and parts of Japan within striking distance, Yomiuri wrote that it is possible the DPRK has been successful in advancing its missile development capabilities. The papers also wrote that the missiles may be an improved version of the Russian-made Iskander.
The papers speculated that the launches may have been aimed at pressuring the United States and South Korea into calling off a joint military exercise scheduled for August and that they could also have been prompted by “delays” in arranging U.S.-DPRK denuclearization talks. Yomiuri reported it is possible that the DPRK might stage additional military provocations in an attempt to extract concessions from Washington.