A television screen broadcasts news coverage of a North Korean rocket launch, at Seoul station on June 22, 2016. / AFP / Ed Jones
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Nuclear-armed North Korea conducted two back-to-back tests of a powerful new medium-range missile Wednesday, with both achieving a significant increase in flight distance over previous failed launches, South Korea's Defense Ministry said.Both tests were believed to be of a much-hyped, intermediate-range Musudan missile capable of reaching U.S. bases as far away as Guam. U.S. State Department spokesman John Kirby said the latest launches would only increase global efforts to counter North Korea's illicit weapons program.First unveiled as an indigenous missile at a military parade in Pyongyang in October 2010, the Musudan has a theoretical range of anywhere between 2,500 and 4,000 kilometers.The latest tests came with military tensions on the divided Korean peninsula still running high following Pyongyang's fourth nuclear test in January and a long-range rocket launch a month later that saw the U.N. Security Council impose its toughest sanctions to date on the North.The North has displayed an ICBM, the KN-08, during military parades, but it has never been tested.
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