A look at North Korean missile, artillery launches in 2016

North Korea has fired a slew of ballistic missiles and artillery rockets in defiance of heavy international sanctions imposed over its fourth nuclear test and a long-range rocket launch earlier this year. Outsiders believe North Korea intends the launches and tests to display its arsenal and its ability to attack rival South Korea and U.S. military bases in Asia in reaction to a U.S. plan to deploy an advanced military defense system in the South by the end of 2017.

Some of North Korea's notable weapons tests since its long-range rocket launch in February:

" March 3: Six artillery shells fly about 150 kilometers (90 miles) before landing in the North's eastern coastal waters. North Korea later says it has developed a new large-caliber artillery rocket system that boosts its ability to attack the South.

" March 10: Two short-range ballistic missiles land in the sea, hours before North Korea declares it will "liquidate" all South Korean assets at former cooperative projects in the North.

" March 18: North Korea for the first time since 2014 fires a medium-range Rodong missile, which flies about 800 kilometers (500 miles) before crashing in the eastern sea. South Korea says another missile appeared to explode shortly after launch.

" April 15: South Korea and the U.S. detect a failed launch by the North. South Korean media speculate the failure involved a new intermediate-range missile, nicknamed by foreign analysts as "Musudan," which could one day be capable of reaching far-off U.S. military bases in Asia.

" April 23: North Korea fires a ballistic missile from a submarine. South Korean defense officials say it traveled about 30 kilometers (19 miles), shorter than the typical distance of a submarine-launched ballistic missile, which can fly at least 300 kilometers (186 miles).

" April 28: South Korea says the North tried unsuccessfully to launch two ballistic missiles, presumed to be Musudans.

" May 31: South Korea identifies another launch attempt that likely failed, speculated to be a Musudan missile.

" June 22: The U.S. and South Korea say North Korea fires two suspected Musudan missiles. North Korea later claims a successful test of a powerful new midrange missile, which it says reached a maximum height of 1,400 kilometers (870 miles) before landing 400 kilometers away in targeted waters.

" July 19: Three ballistic missiles are fired, with two of them flying between 500 to 600 kilometers (310 to 375 miles). North Korea says the test-firings are part of a simulated pre-emptive attack on ports and airfields in South Korea.

" Aug. 3: South Korean and Japanese officials say North Korea fired a medium-range ballistic missile, likely a Rodong, that flew about 1,000 kilometers (620) miles and landed near Japan's territorial waters.

This story has been automatically published from the Associated Press wire which uses US spellings

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