Sunday, 17 December, 2017

What you need to know about North Korea's missile test

North Korea Celebrates Test Of New, Long-Range Missile What you need to know about North Korea's missile test
Christy Curtis | 18 May, 2017, 10:38

The Hwasong-12 missile launched from the area of Kuson, northwestern Phyongan-bukto (North Pyongan) province covered a distance of 787 km, reaching an altitude of 2,111 km as reported by DPRK media reports and landing near the coast of Japan.

Analysts estimated its ranged as 4,500 kilometers which would put the U.S. territory of Guam within its reach.

That is a slap in the face for South Korea's new president, Moon Jae-in, who has promised greater engagement with the North, and suggests that the missile launch was an attempt to improve Pyongyang's negotiating position with a more hardline US under President Donald Trump.

In April the North put dozens of missiles on show at a giant military parade through the streets of Pyongyang, including one that appeared to be the type of device launched on Sunday.

The test heightened North Korea's apparent advancement when it comes to intercontinental ballistic missile.

But in comments that appeared aimed at the USA, he said that "intimidating the DPRK is unacceptable", using an acronym of North Korea.

But on Tuesday, a North Korean diplomat defended its recent missile test-launch, telling the UN Conference on Disarmament it was a legitimate act of self-defence under global law.

Putin, speaking in Beijing, said nuclear tests of the type that Pyongyang had been carrying out in recent weeks were unacceptable, but that a peaceful solution to rising tensions on the Korean peninsula was needed.

Speaking at a Chinese economic summit, Put also denied that the test had posed any threat to Russian Federation, despite the weapon landing 60 miles off his nation's east coast.

South Korea's newly elected President Moon Jae-in, who is seeking deeper engagement with the North, said it was a "reckless provocation" while China, North Korea's only real ally, is urging restraint.

Despite that, President Trump already expressed his intent to keep the relationship between the US and North Korea "diplomatic" to prevent the latter from using nuclear missiles.

North Korea claimed Monday that it successfully tested a new missile the previous day capable of carrying a "large, heavy nuclear warhead". Spokesman Moon Sang Gyun said it is still unlikely that North Korea has re-entry technology, which would return a warhead safely back into the atmosphere.

North Korea published photos and video clips from Sunday's successful launch of its Hwasong-12 midrange missile. The adoption of the statement comes on the eve of an emergency, closed-door meeting of the Security Council scheduled for Tuesday.

ICBM's are considered to have a range of about 6000km, but analysts believe the missile tested on Sunday would have travelled about 4000km if it had been fired at a standard trajectory rather than upwards.

But Melissa Hanham, senior research associate at the James Martin Center for Nonproliferation Studies in California, said the test could just as easily be a stepping stone to a longer-range weapon.

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