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05 July 2017

US and South Korea launch warning missiles in show of force to Kim Jong-un after tyrant fired ICBM missile capable of reaching Alaska

THE US and South Korea today launched a joint ballistic missile drill as a warning to Kim Jong-un just 24 hours after the tyrant tested his first ICBM.

In a direct response to Pyongyang’s missile launch, US and South Korean soldiers fired “deep strike” precision missiles into South Korean territorial waters.

US and South Korean soldiers fire missiles into the sea as a warning to the North
Reuters
The missiles were fired into the sea off the coast of South Korea
Reuters
They were a direct retaliation to Kim Jong-un’s latest missile launch
Reuters

The US Eighth Army said the missile firings were a show of force meant to demonstrate US-South Korean solidarity.

The US said had confirmed yesterday that North Korea’s latest missile launch was indeed an intercontinental ballistic missile, as the North had boasted and the U.S. and South Korea had feared.

Admitting it was capable of reaching Alaska, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson called it a “new escalation of the threat” to the US.

It came after Donald Trump mocked Kim Jong-un after he launched his first “successful” intercontinental ballistic missile  and vowed “to end America’s nuclear threat”.

North Korea’s landmark test of the “game changer” Hwasong-14 missile was personally overseen by Jong-un, announced Korean Central Television.

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The missile flew several hundred miles before crashing into the ocean off the coast of Japan[/caption]

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Kim’s military now claims it can target anywhere in the world[/caption]

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Pictures said to show Kim at today’s missile launch[/caption]

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North Korean state TV reports this is the missile that was launched[/caption]

The network added the weapon was now capable of hitting anywhere in the world.

Trump has now called for an emergency meeting of the UN Security council following the test.

After today’s launch, North Korean state TV bragged: “We can end America’s nuclear threat and bring peace to the Korean peninsula.”

North Korea’s Academy of Defence Science said it reached an altitude of 1,741 miles.

US Pacific Command confirmed the test and said it was a land-based, intermediate-range missile that flew for 37 minutes before splashing down in the Sea of Japan.

It said the launch did not pose a threat to North America.

The launch came as Americans prepared to mark Independence Day, prompting President Donald Trump to urge China to act to “end this nonsense once and for all.”

US Ambassador Nikki Haley on Tuesday spoke by phone with China’s Ambassador Liu Jieyi, who holds the council presidency this month, to convey the US request for an urgent meeting.

Trump responded by asking if the tyrant has “anything better to do”.

The South’s military confirmed an “unidentified ballistic missile” was fired into the Sea of Japan at around 9.10am local time.

A successful ICBM test launch marks a significant step forward for secretive Pyongyang’s weapons capability.

ICBMs have a minimum range of about 3,418 miles, but some are designed to travel 6,214 miles or further.

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Images on North Korea TV are said to show the launch[/caption]

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State TV shows troops apparently celebrating the launch[/caption]

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A North Korea news announcer claimed the missile will help bring peace[/caption]

California is roughly 5,592 miles from North Korea.

Trump continued his war of words with the North Korea leader on Twitter, asking: “North Korea has just launched another missile. Does this guy have anything better to do with his life?”

Once US missile scientist, David Wright, estimated that the missile, if the reported time and distance are correct, would have been on a very highly lofted trajectory and could have a possible maximum range of 4,160 miles, which could put Alaska in its range, if fired at a normal trajectory.

However, North Korea has struggled to reliably deploy its intermediate-range Musudan ballistic missile, succeeding just once in eight attempted launches last year.

It’s not yet been independently confirmed that today’s launch was an ICBM or a success.


For more on this story…

Listen to Julia Hartley-Brewer from 10am on talkRADIO on DAB or via the app


EPA

A pedestrian looks at a TV screen on a street broadcasting news of North Korea’s missile launch, in Tokyo, Japan[/caption]

Kim Jong-un risks Donald Trump’s wrath after possibly launching the missile to coincide with the US’s Independence Day
Reuters

Russian military sources are also doubting claims the weapon was actually an ICBM.

The provocation comes just days after Seoul’s new leader Moon Jae-In and Trump focused on the threat from Pyongyang in their first summit.

And leaders of the US, China, Japan and South Korea are expected to discuss how to rein in the Secret State’s nuclear and missile tests at the G20 summit on July 7.

The device may have come down in Japan’s exclusive economic zone, a spokeswoman for Tokyo’s defence ministry said – waters extending 200 nautical miles from its coast.

Japanese Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga said the missile flew “for about 40 minutes” – an unusually long flight time.

“This launch of a ballistic missile can never be tolerated, and Japan strongly protested to North Korea and condemned it,” he told a briefing.

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People watch a television broadcast reporting the missile launch in Seoul Railway Station, South Korea[/caption]

Getty Images

President Donald Trump boards Air Force One in New Jersey last night[/caption]

Getty Images

Yoon Young-chan, chief press secretary for the South Korean president, speaks following the launch[/caption]

Trump threw his weight behind Japan and China after the launch, tweeting: “Hard to believe that South Korea and Japan will put up with this much longer. Perhaps China will put a heavy move on North Korea and end this nonsense once and for all!”

Pyongyang says it needs nuclear weapons to defend itself against the threat of invasion and has carried out multiple launches since Moon – who backs engagement with the North but also stresses the need for sanctions – was elected in May.

At their summit in Washington at the weekend, Trump declared that the US had run out of patience with North Korea over its weapons drive.


“Together, we are facing the threat of the reckless and brutal regime in North Korea,” Trump said. “The nuclear and ballistic missile programs of that regime require a determined response.

“The North Korean dictatorship has no regard for the safety and security of its people, for its neighbours and has no respect for human life.”

He later discussed the issue in separate phone calls with Chinese leader Xi Jinping and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe.

Shea Cotton, a researcher at the James Martin Center for Nonproliferation Studies in the US, suggested Tuesday’s launch was deliberately timed to coincide with the anniversary of the US declaration of independence.

“It’s already 4th of July in North Korea,” he said on Twitter. “I somewhat suspect they’re shooting off some fireworks today specifically because of that.”

Kim’s Academy of Defence Science declared today’s launch a great success.

It said: “Kim Jong-un personally witnessed the test launch and solemnly declared before the world it’s shining success.

“As a full-fledged nuclear power that has been possessed of the most powerful ICBM capable of hitting any part of the world the DPRK will fundamentally put an end to the US nuclear war threat.”

Timeline of North Korea's missile development

North Korea on Tuesday said it had tested an intercontinental ballistic missile, as its decades-long weapons programme reached a grave new phase.

Here are key dates in Pyongyang’s quest to develop a missile capable of hitting the United States:

Late 1970s: Starts working on a version of the Soviet Scud-B (range 300 kilometres or 186 miles). Test-fired in 1984

1987-92: Begins developing variant of Scud-C (500 km), Rodong-1 (1,300 km), Taepodong-1 (2,500 km), Musudan-1 (3,000 km) and Taepodong-2 (6,700 km)

Aug 1998: Test-fires Taepodong-1 over Japan as part of failed satellite launch

Sept 1999: Declares moratorium on long-range missile tests amid improving ties with US

July 12, 2000: Fifth round of US-North Korean missile talks ends without agreement after North demands $1 billion a year in return for halting missile exports

March 3, 2005: North ends moratorium on long-range missile testing, blames Bush administration’s “hostile” policy

July 5, 2006: North test-fires seven missiles, including a long-range Taepodong-2 which explodes after 40 seconds

Oct 9, 2006: North conducts underground nuclear test, its first

April 5, 2009: North Korea launches long-range rocket which flies over Japan and lands in the Pacific, in what it says is an attempt to put a satellite into orbit. The United States, Japan and South Korea see it as a disguised test of a Taepodong-2

May 25, 2009: North conducts its second underground nuclear test, several times more powerful than the first

April 13, 2012: North launches what it has said is a long-range rocket to put a satellite into orbit, but it disintegrates soon after blast-off

December 12, 2012: North launches a multi-stage rocket and successfully places an Earth observational satellite in orbit

February 12, 2013: Conducts its third underground nuclear test

January 6, 2016: North conducts its fourth underground nuclear test, which it says was of a hydrogen bomb — a claim doubted by most experts

March 9, 2016: Kim Jong-Un claims the North has successfully miniaturised a thermo-nuclear warhead

April 23, 2016: North test-fires a submarine-launched ballistic missile

July 8, 2016: US and South Korea announce plans to deploy an advanced missile defence system — THAAD (Terminal High Altitude Area Defense)

August 3, 2016: North Korea fires a ballistic missile directly into Japan’s maritime economic zone for the first time

September 9, 2016: Fifth nuclear test

March 6, 2017: North fires four ballistic missiles in what it says is an exercise to hit US bases in Japan

March 7, 2017: US begins deploying THAAD missile defence system in South Korea

May 14, 2017: North fires a ballistic missile which flies 700 kilometres before landing in the Sea of Japan. Analysts say it has an imputed range of 4,500 kilometres and brings Guam within reach

July 4, 2017: North Korea test-fires a ballistic missile which flies 930 kilometres before landing in the Sea of Japan. Analysts say it has an imputed range of 6,700 kilometres and brings Alaska within reach. Pyongyang later says it was a “landmark” test of a Hwasong-14 intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM).


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