The Pentagon has assessed that North Korea’s weekend missile launch showed new capabilities, US officials told CNN on Monday.
The launch involved the first land-based test of an intermediate-range missile that, in the past, has been fired from a submarine, two US officials said. And because it was launched from a west coast missile site, it flew farther than any previous North Korean tests, about 300 miles before dropping into the Sea of Japan.
“It’s very similar to what they’ve launched from their submarines in the past,” US Navy Capt. Jeff Davis told reporters Monday. “This appears to be a land-based variant of it.”
Significantly, the officials noted that the missile, the Pukguksong-2, used solid rocket fuel, making it harder to detect an imminent launch because it requires less fueling time on the launch pad. […]