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Friday, April 28, 2017


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North Korea launched a ballistic missile into the Sea of Japan on Friday, two U.S. officials have confirmed to Fox News. 
The missile has been assessed to be a KN-17, a former Scud missile that officials believe is being tested to one day target ships.  
The missile flew roughly 25 miles and was in the air for about 15 minutes, officials tell Fox News. The KN-17 was launched from Pukchang. 
It is not immediately clear if this missile launch was successful. The U.S. Pacific Command and US Strategic command is still assessing.
“The only way a Scud gets a new designation is if it is substantially different,” said Jeffrey Lewis, a scholar at the Middlebury Institute of International Studies at Monterey.
The KN-17 is a single-stage, liquid-fueled missile -- not the three-stage, solid-fuel missile that North Korea successfully tested back in February, which caused more concern among Pentagon officials.
North Korea routinely test-fires a variety of ballistic missiles, despite United Nations prohibitions, as part of its push to develop a long-range ballistic missile capable of hitting U.S. shores.
Monday, the Pentagon announced it was conducting a new nuclear posture review, two days after North Korea failed to launch a new type of ballistic missile, which exploded four seconds after launch.
The latest failed test over the weekend occurred hours before Vice President Pence touched down in Seoul. On Monday, he visited the Demilitarized Zone on the border between North and South and warned the rogue communist regime against conducting further tests.
Today's launch comes at a time when the Trump administration is considering how to deal with the threat from North Korea. Several administration officials, including Vice President Mike Pence, have said that the era of "strategic patience" with North Korea is now over. 
On Friday, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson told the United Nations to take new sanctions against North Korea.
Last year, Pyongyang attempted to launch a Musudan missile on April 15, an auspicious date on which millions celebrate Kim II Sung's birthday. The secretive, isolated regime has already had several missile launch tests this year. 
Fox News' Lucas Tomlinson and the Associated Press contributed to this report.

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