US concerns about North Korea's 'improving' missile programmes, says Pentagon

WASHINGTON: According to Pentagon Press Secretary John Kirby, the US takes the threat posed by North Korea's "improving" missile programmes very seriously.

According to news reports, Kirby said the US is currently studying the nature of North Korea's latest missile tests in order to learn their exact capabilities. Commenting on Pyongyang’s recent missile launches, Kirby said, "We will continue to take this danger and this improving programme of Pyongyang's very, very seriously." On Monday (Seoul time), North Korea launched two short-range ballistic missiles, marking the country's fourth missile launch since the start of the year.

Seoul sources said the missiles fired Monday seemed to be the KN-24, which are supposed to be a North Korean variant of the US Army Tactical Missile System or ATACMS that fly a convoluted trajectory, making them difficult to intercept, based on images given by North Korea.

"We've classified them as ballistic missiles and are continuing to set traps for them. So I don't have any additional information on that "When questioned about the characteristics of the missiles used in North Korea's most recent launch, Kirby responded.

On January 5 and 11, North Korea claimed to have shot a newly developed hypersonic missile before launching two short-range ballistic missiles on Friday.

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