North Korea Test Fires Missiles

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Steve Inskeep and Lynn Neary report on the latest news from the test-firing of missiles by North Korea.


It's MORNING EDITION from NPR News. I'm Lynn Neary.


And I'm Steve Inskeep.

Here's the latest we know about the missiles that North Korea has been spraying beyond its borders.

NEARY: The U.S. military says North Korea fired half a dozen missiles, and then today, Japan and South Korea reported a seventh missile launch.

INSKEEP: One of the missiles was a Taepodong-2. In theory, it could reach the United States, though in practice it failed about 40 second after liftoff.

NEARY: North Korea's missile program is closely watched because the country says it also has nuclear weapons. The testing is the latest development in a decade's old program to deliver weapons at long range.

Here's a timeline.

INSKEEP: The missile program began in the early 1960s in cooperation with the former Soviet Union.

NEARY: It continued in the 1970s with technical assistance from China.

INSKEEP: Today, incidentally, Russia and China are two of the nations trying to contain the North Korean threat.

NEARY: Experts say North Korea built hundreds of missiles that could reach South Korea or Japan.

INSKEEP: Then, in 1998, North Korea tested a long-range missile.

NEARY: Later, the North Koreans agreed to a moratorium on testing.

INSKEEP: And that moratorium has apparently ended this week.

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