Published: Tue, May 16, 2017
Worldwide | By Gretchen Simon

N Korea missile test huge step forward


The North successfully test-fired a new intermediate-range ballistic missile on Sunday.

"There is no question that North Korea continues to threaten the United States, our allies Japan, South Korea and its neighbors, including both China and Russian Federation", press secretary Sean Spicer said.

North Korea has in the past year stepped up its ballistic missile tests, firing dozens of various types of rockets, according to South Korea.

The North said that it fired the missile at the highest angle in consideration of security of neighboring countries, and the missile reached the maximum altitude of more than 2,111.5 kilometers before landing in the East Sea 787 km away.

She declined comment on whether the North is capable of striking the continental U.S. That would require a flight of 8,000 km (4,800 miles) or more and technology to ensure a warhead's stable re-entry into the atmosphere.

"The test-firing of ICBMs will occur at any time and place, at the will of North Korea's highest leadership", North Korea's ambassador to China, Ji Jae Ryong, told reporters in Beijing on Monday, a day before the UN Security Council meets in NY to discuss the test.

UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres on Monday condemned North Korea's latest missile launch and urged Pyongyang to move toward denuclearization. Seeing Trump's tough-guy posturing prove to be empty words will only reinforce North Korea's skepticism. This missile would allow North Korea to conduct at least some of the testing necessary to develop an operational ICBM, without actually launching ICBMs, particularly if it includes the same rocket engines.

Russian President Vladimir Putin on Monday condemned the test as "dangerous" but warned against "intimidating" Pyongyang.

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North Korea says the missile can carry a heavy nuclear warhead.

Following Sunday's test, the U.S. called for repercussions from the global community.

Putin did not specify what countries he had in mind, but he has in the past repeatedly criticized the United States for military operations in Iraq, Libya and Syria, and accused it of trying to oust legitimate governments.

Russia, however, said the missile fell 500 km from its coast. Amid an outbreak of tension, the Trump administration claimed to be sending an aircraft carrier to the region, and hinted darkly at the possibility of military action should Kim Jong Un's regime test America's resolve again. The missile was first put on display during a military parade on 15 April 2017. Some analysts believe the missile, if proven in further tests, could reach Alaska and Hawaii if fired on a normal, instead of a lofted, trajectory.

"North Korea's latest successful missile test represents a level of performance never before seen from a North Korean missile", Schilling wrote.

The United States called the missile launch a message to South Korea, days after Moon took office pledging to engage Pyongyang in dialogue and keep up worldwide pressure to impede the North's arms pursuit.

"One way of addressing Iran's ballistic missile program is to use the North-Korea related authorities to sanction these Iranian individuals".

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