By admin       2017-11-29

SEOUL/WASHINGTON (Reuters) - North Korea said it had successfully tested a powerful new intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) that put all of the U.S. mainland within range, declaring it had achieved its long-held goal of becoming a nuclear power.Wednesday’s missile test, North Korea’s first since mid-September, came a week after U.S. President Donald Trump put North Korea back on a U.S. list of countries it says support terrorism, allowing it to impose more sanctions. North Korea has conducted dozens of ballistic missile tests under its leader, Kim Jong Un, in defiance of international sanctions. In September, it conducted its sixth and largest nuclear test. North Korea said the new powerful missile reached an altitude of around 4,475 km (2,780 miles) - more than 10 times the height of the international space station - and flew 950 km (600 miles) during its 53 minute flight. “After watching the successful launch of the new type ICBM Hwasong-15, Kim Jong Un declared with pride that now we have finally realized the great historic cause of completing the state nuclear force, the cause of building a rocket power,” according to a statement read by a television presenter. In the statement, North Korea described itself as a “responsible nuclear power”, saying its strategic weapons were developed to defend itself from “the U.S. imperialists’ nuclear blackmail policy and nuclear threat”. Many nuclear experts say the North has yet to prove it has mastered all technical hurdles including the ability deliver a nuclear warhead reliably atop an ICBM, but likely soon will. “We don’t have to like it, but we’re going to have to learn to live with North Korea’s ability to target the United States with nuclear weapons,” said Jeffrey Lewis, head of the East Asia Nonproliferation Program at the Middlebury Institute of Strategic Studies. “THREATEN EVERYWHERE” : U.S., Japanese and South Korean officials all agreed the missile, which landed within Japan’s exclusive economic zone, was likely an ICBM. It did not pose a threat to the United States, its territories or allies, the Pentagon said. “It went higher frankly than any previous shot they’ve taken, a research and development effort on their part to continue building ballistic missiles that can threaten everywhere in the world, basically,” U.S. Defense Secretary Jim Mattis told reporters at the White House. Trump spoke by phone with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and South Korean President Moon Jae-In, with all three leaders reaffirming their commitment to combat the North Korean threat. “It is a situation that we will handle,” Trump told reporters. Moon told Trump that North Korea’s missile technology seemed to have improved, a spokesman for the South Korean leader’s office said. Trump, who was briefed on the missile while it was in flight, said it did not change his administration’s approach to North Korea, which has included new curbs to hurt trade between China and North Korea.

Download App

# #

Member Login