The sixth time a charm for North Korea, Pyongyang test-firing ballistic missiles from its east coast on Wednesday. South Korean state media say the first was likely a failure exploding in midair. But the second flew 400 kilometers, or about 250 miles, that's halfway to Japan, before falling into the sea.
The best result after five recent failures. Reuters Ju-min Park says the North seems desperate to make these weapons work.>> Kim Jong-un, the leader of North Korea, early this year, publicly ordered more tests of ballistic missiles and nuclear warheads. So experts are saying North Korean missile engineers are under some kind of political pressure to show the leader some good results.
At the same time, missile experts told me that it is easier for North Korea to launch another missile than to run a computer simulation, because it may have less computer analysis capability.>> These medium-range missiles called Musudan are key for the country's weapons program. They can serve as a delivery vehicle for a nuclear device to its close neighbors.
>> North Korea's intermediate range missiles have the range of more than 3,000 kilometers, which can theoretically reach Guam and Japan. North Korea is believed to have up to 30 Musudan missiles, according to South Korean media. And officials here in Seoul said they were first deployed around 2007, although the North had never attempted to test-fire them until this year.
>> Tensions are running high after North Korea followed its fourth nuclear test in January with a satellite launch and a string of ballistic missile tests. The US, Japan, and South Korea all voicing disapproval on Wednesday. A Seoul spokesman saying North Korea should focus on its people's welfare rather than putting more resources into its growing arsenal of weapons.