North Korea 'launched several missiles' hours after warning it would accelerate its programme

Picture: Somewhere in North Korea

A Japanese government source claims North Korea launched “several missiles” this morning.

The type of missile and whether the launch was successful is not yet known.

The launch report comes just 24 hours after the UN’s top nuclear inspector noted North Korea had doubled the size of it facility for enriching uranium, and US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson flagged a “new approach” for denuclearising the country.

That suggestion of sanctions from the US prompted North Korea to publicly state it would “accelerate” its nuclear programmes, including the development of an ICBM and some form of “first-strike” capacity.

“In the light of such huge military forces involved in the joint military exercises, we have no other choice but to continue with our full acceleration of the nuclear programs and missile programs,” Choe Myong Nam, deputy ambassador at the DPRK mission to the UN in Geneva, said.

It marks a fortnight of escalating tension between the Hermit Kingdom and the US.

After recent joint US-South Korean military exercises in the region, North Korea’s main propaganda outlet showed fictional footage of the country’s military destroying a B-51 bomber and the USS Carl Vinson.

Last weekend, North Korea tested a new type of high-thrust rocket engine and claimed the test marks what will be known as the “March 18 revolution” in the development of the country’s rocket industry.

And Kim’s Foreign Office threatened earlier this month that it was prepared to reduce the US to “ashes with its Hwasong rockets tipped with nuclear warheads”.

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