North Korea claims to have reached ICBM nuclear milestone

KIMIMASA MAYAMA

Pedestrians walk past a TV screen showing North Korean leader Kim Jong-un on a street broadcasting news of North Korea's latest missile launch, in Tokyo, Japan, 04 July 2017. According to media reports, North Korea launched a ballistic missile on 04 July, that flew around 930km towards the Sea of Japan. The missile fell into Japan's exclusive economic zone in the Sea of Japan, according to Japanese Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga. North Korea said that it has successfully tested an intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM).

North Korea claims to have reached ICBM nuclear milestone


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North Korea claims that it successfully tested its first intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM).

If the test conducted on Tuesday is verified, North Korea will have reached a milestone in its nuclear programme, delivering a significant blow to US President Donald Trump who once Tweeted that this “will not happen.” There is now speculation that North Korea may have developed a rocket that could reach Alaska.

There is now speculation that North Korea may have developed an ICBM rocket that could reach Alaska.

North Korea’s Academy of Defense Science said the ICBM missile known as Hwasong-14 marks a new milestone in North Korea capacity, as the country can now strike “anywhere on Earth.” North Korean scientists suggest the missile reached 2,800km height, before hitting a target 933 km away from the point of launch.

US officials say they find the claim credible, the BBC reports.

Russia’s military said the missile did not reach the height or the distance claimed by the regime, Reuters reports. The Japanese government neither confirms nor denies whether North Korea has indeed developed an ICBM.

On May 14, North Korea launched a Hwasong-12 missile which North Korean scientists argue reached 2,111 km, landing 787 km from the launch site.

Even if the missile technology is confirmed, arming the missile with a nuclear head is an altogether different challenge. The regime is believed to have developed reliable technology with the ability to reach South Korea and Japan, but not the US.

US President Trump reacted to the launch with a series of Tweets.

 China and Russia proposed on Tuesday that Pyongyang declares a moratorium on nuclear testing, while the United States and South Korea refrain from military exercises. North Korea is under an extreme sanction regime and the means of diplomatic and economic pressure are limited.

epa06064781 A handout photo made available by the official North Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) allegedly shows the North Korean inter-continental ballistic rocket Hwasong-14 being prepared before a test launch at an undisclosed location in North Korea, 04 July 2017. According to media reports, North Korea launched a ballistic missile on 04 July, that flew around 930km towards the Sea of Japan. The missile fell into Japan's exclusive economic zone in the Sea of Japan, according to Japanese Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga. North Korea said that it has successfully tested an intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM). EPA/KCNA HANDOUT EDITORIAL USE ONLY

A handout photo made available by the official North Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) allegedly shows the North Korean inter-continental ballistic rocket Hwasong-14 being prepared before a test launch at an undisclosed location in North Korea, 04 July 2017. According to media reports, North Korea launched a ballistic missile on 04 July, that flew around 930km towards the Sea of Japan. The missile fell into Japan’s exclusive economic zone in the Sea of Japan, according to Japanese Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga. North Korea said that it has successfully tested an intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM). EPA/KCNA HANDOUT EDITORIAL USE ONLY

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