The US and South Korean militaries evaluated the two projectiles North Korea flew Thursday as short-range missiles, a South Korean military official said Friday, a day after the North's second launch in five days raised jitters about an unravelling detente between the Koreas and the future of nuclear negotiations between Washington and Pyongyang, the AP reports. The weapons flew 260 miles and 167 miles respectively, on an apogee of 28 to 31 miles according to Seoul's Joint Chiefs of Staff and Defense Ministry. North Korea's state-run Korean Central News Agency said Friday that leader Kim Jong Un helped guide the weapons tests on Thursday and learned about "various long-range strike means."
Experts say the missile was identical to the one the North launched on Saturday, which appeared to be a solid-fuel missile modeled after Russia's Iskander short-range ballistic missile system. What was launched Thursday is a crucial detail, as North Korea is banned by the United Nations from testing ballistic missiles. A major missile test could result in more sanctions, and the North's so far unsuccessful push for large-scale sanctions relief is at the heart of the current diplomatic impasse with Washington. President Trump told reporters the weapons were smaller, short-range missiles, but: "Nobody's happy about it." (The US has seized a North Korean cargo ship.)