North Korea: New long-range missile can carry heavy nuke

by Leon Thompson May 16, 2017, 9:40
North Korea: New long-range missile can carry heavy nuke

The KCNA report said that, as ever, the test had been overseen by the North's Supreme Leader, Kim Jong-un. And it also lifts scientists in the authoritarian nation who are working to build an arsenal of missiles with nuclear warheads that can reach the USA mainland.

North Korea said on Monday it had successfully conducted a mid- to-long-range missile test and would continue such launches "any time, any place", defying UN Security Council resolutions and warnings from the United States.

Alan Romberg, director of the East Asia Program at the Stimson Center, reads Pyongyang's launch of the latest missile as a gesture to encourage South Korea's newly elected president to contact the regime.

The administration has also called on Beijing to do more to rein in Pyongyang and has said it's seen positive signs in that direction after Chinese President Xi Jinping's meeting with President Trump.

The Security Council is expected to discuss the possibility of further sanctions at an emergency session on Tuesday.

The press statement from the U.N.'s most powerful body said its 15 members agreed to "take further significant measures including sanctions, in line with the council's previously expressed determination".

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The White House called for tougher sanctions on the North.

The test "proved to the full all the technical specifications of the rocket (which was) capable of carrying a large-sized heavy nuclear warhead", the official Korea Central News Agency (KCNA) said.

Kim witnessed the test and "hugged officials in the field of rocket research, saying that they worked hard to achieve a great thing", according to KCNA. It was purposely shot at a high angle to avoid directly hitting a surrounding country, but it still traveled 489 miles and got as high as 1,312 miles, according to North Korea's state-run news agency - and landed near Russian Federation. Until now, the island was believed to be outside the range of North Korea's most powerful rockets.

"If Russia can be instrumental in resolving a key worldwide dispute like North Korea, they will want to parry that into something else, to use it as a bargaining chip", he said.

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After reentering the atmosphere, the missile impacted in the Sea of Japan around 400 miles from its launch point.

The article references Trump's comments in early May that he would be "honored" to meet with DPRK leader Kim Jong-un "under the right circumstances".

The spokesperson added that there is "no question" North Korea continues to pose a threat to the United States, Japan, South Korea and its neighbors, including both China and Russian Federation.

The isolated country has been developing a long-range missile capable of striking the mainland United States mounted with a nuclear warhead. Each new nuclear and longer-range missile test is part of the North's attempt to build a nuclear-tipped intercontinental ballistic missile.

The nose cone resembles that of the KN-08 ICBM the North is believed to be developing, and the lofted trajectory tests re-entry by putting the missile through extra stress, said Joshua Pollack of the USA -based Nonproliferation Review.

Guam, an American territory with two large US military bases, is 3,400 kilometers from North Korea.

The election of Moon Jae-in as South Korea's president marks the re-emergence of a major player that had been silenced for five crucial months because of the country's political paralysis, which ended with the impeachment and arrest of his conservative predecessor, Park Geun-hye.

"The president expressed deep regret over the fact that this reckless provocation. occurred just days after a new government was launched in South Korea", senior presidential secretary Yoon Young-chan said.

This is a really big deal: It means that North Korea's threats that it can hit U.S. territory aren't so empty anymore.

Moon, South Korea's first liberal leader in almost a decade, said as he took his oath of office last week that he'd be willing to visit North Korea if the circumstances were right.


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