U.S. Officials Say North Korea’s Launch of KN-17 Missile Last Sunday Was Successful

This picture taken on May 14, 2017 and released from North Korea’s official Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) on May 15 shows a test launch of the ground-to-ground medium long-range strategic ballistic rocket Hwasong-12 at an undisclosed location. (AFP – Getty Images)

Two U.S. defense officials confirm that North Korea’s launch of a KN-17 missile last Sunday was successful and that the missile’s re-entry vehicle did successfully re-enter the atmosphere.

The re-entry was controlled and the vehicle did not burn up, the officials said. It landed in the sea near Russia.

The KN-17 is a liquid fuel single-stage missile. In boasting of the successful launch, the North Koreans called it a “medium long-range” ballistic rocket that can carry a heavy nuclear warhead.

The U.S. officials characterized Sunday’s launch as an advancement for the North Korean missile program.

North Korea also launched one in mid-April, but it exploded seconds later.