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US, South Korea Analyze North Korea's ICBM Claim

Image: US, South Korea Analyze North Korea's ICBM Claim
(Reuters)

Tuesday, 04 Jul 2017 07:24 AM

SEOUL, South Korea - South Korea's military says it is analyzing with the United States whether North Korea really has test-fired an intercontinental ballistic missile.

Cho Han Gyu, director of operations at South Korea's Joint Chiefs of Staff, told a televised briefing that South Korean and U.S. intelligence authorities are determining whether a missile launched Tuesday has ICBM capability, as North Korea claims.

The launch was the latest in a series of tests by North Korea as it works to develop a nuclear-tipped missile that could reach the United States.

Cho said the missile demonstrated an improved range over an intermediate-range missile that North Korea tested on May 14.

North Korean citizens in the capital are praising their country's launch of what it called its first intercontinental ballistic missile.

Soon after the authoritarian government announced Tuesday that it had fired the missile that morning, a 38-year-old Pyongyang man named Ri Song Gil said his country "can attack anywhere in the world." He added, "Now, the time when the U.S. could threaten the world with nuclear weapons has passed away."

Twenty-seven-year-old Kim Hye Ok calls the launch "extremely delightful news" and says North Korea "will march forward along our own way" despite international sanctions.

The launch appeared to be the North's most successful missile test yet. A U.S. scientist examining its height and distance said it could be powerful enough to reach Alaska.

China says it opposes North Korean missile launches that violate U.N. Security Council resolutions.

Foreign Ministry spokesman Geng Shuang told reporters Tuesday that his country was collecting information about North Korea's latest launch, conducted earlier in the day.

North Korea announced that it had tested an intercontinental ballistic missile, which flew about 930 kilometers (580 miles) and fell into the Sea of Japan.

Geng said that China urges "the North Korean side to stop taking actions that violate Security Council resolutions and to create the necessary conditions for the resumption of talks."

He also defended China's efforts to try to resolve the North Korean nuclear issue. He said that China's role is indispensable, and that its contribution in that regard is recognized.

Japan's government spokesman says it is still studying North Korea's claim that it successfully tested an intercontinental ballistic missile.

Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga (yoh-shi-hee-deh soo-gah) said Tuesday that Japan is "carefully analyzing the maximum distance of its flight."

Suga said the missile landed about 300 kilometers (500 miles) off Oga Peninsula on Japan's northwestern coast.

North Korea says its latest missile test reached a height of 2,802 kilometers (1,740 miles) and flew 933 kilometers (580 miles) for 39 minutes before falling into the sea.

The country's Academy of Defense Science said Tuesday in a statement that it was a successful test of an intercontinental ballistic missiles called Hwasong-14.

The statement was distributed by North Korea's KCNA news service.

The reported trajectory was similar to that announced earlier by U.S., South Korean and Japanese officials, though the U.S. judged it to be an intermediate-range missile.

Either way, it would be a longer and higher flight than similar tests previously reported.

President Donald Trump has tweeted about North Korea's latest ballistic missile launch.

He wrote in two consecutive tweets: "Does this guy have anything better to do with his life? 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!"

South Korean and Japanese officials say North Korea launched a ballistic missile Tuesday morning that is believed to have landed in the Sea of Japan. It is part of a string of recent test-firings as the North works to build a nuclear-tipped missile that could reach the United States.

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South Korea's military says it is analyzing with the United States whether North Korea really has test-fired an intercontinental ballistic missile. Cho Han Gyu, director of operations at South Korea's Joint Chiefs of Staff, told a televised briefing that...
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2017-24-04
Tuesday, 04 Jul 2017 07:24 AM
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