Published On: Sat, Jul 29th, 2017

North Korea ‘successfully’ test fires second ICBM, UN condemns

Pyongyang: North Korea has confirmed that it has “successfully” test fired a second intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) and described it as a “stern warning” to the US, the media reported on Saturday.

Pyongyang has carried out 12 missile tests since February

A combination of US, South Korean and Japanese analyses of Friday’s launch from Mupyong-ni, near North Korea’s border with China, showed the missile flew about 47 minutes, going 3,700 km high and for a distance of 1,000 km before falling into the Sea of Japan, reports CNN.

If the missile were fired on a flatter, standard trajectory, it would have major US cities like Los Angeles, Denver and Chicago well within its range, with possibly the ability to reach as far as New York and Boston.

South Korea’s Joint Chiefs of Staff said on Saturday that the latest ICBM is more advanced than one launched earlier this month based on the range it travelled. Experts had said that test showed Pyongyang had the ability to hit Alaska.

A statement from Pyongyang’s state-run Korean Central News Agency on Saturday said in a statement that the latest missile launch was a Hwasong-14, the same missile tested earlier in the month.

Friday’s test was designed to show the Hwasong-14’s maximum range with a “large-sized heavy nuclear warhead”, the statement said.

It said Washington should regard the launch as a “grave warning”.

US President Donald Trump condemned the launch and said: “Threatening the world, these weapons and tests further isolate North Korea, weaken its economy, and deprive its people.

“The US will take all necessary steps to ensure the security of the American homeland and protect our allies in the region.”

South Korean President Moon Jae-in in an emergency meeting on Saturday called for a “stern response” and warned that the latest test could bring about a fundamental change in the security landscape of the region.

He also asked his administration to study the possibility of imposing “strong and effective measures” and unilateral sanctions on North Korea “if necessary”.

Meanwhile, Chinese Foreign ministry spokesperson Geng Shuang on Saturday asked North Korea to respect the resolutions of the UN Security Council and refrain from any actions that could escalate tensions in the region, reports Xinhua news agency.

Pyongyang has carried out 12 missile tests since February and conducted its first-ever test of an ICBM on July 4 — which it claims could reach “anywhere in the world”, CNN reported.

Less than six years into his reign, Kim Jong-un has tested more missiles than his father and grandfather combined, according to military experts.

On the other hand, United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres on Friday condemned the launch of another “ballistic missile of possible intercontinental range” by North Korea.

The UN chief said that “this is again a manifest violation of Security Council resolutions,” Xinhua quoted UN deputy spokesman Farhan Haq as saying.

“The North Korean leadership must comply fully with its international obligations and work together with the international community to resolve the outstanding issues on the Korean Peninsula,” said Haq.

The Secretary-General reiterated his call on Pyongyang to respond to the SOuth Korea’s proposals to reopen communication channels, particularly military-to-military, to lower the risk of miscalculation or misunderstanding and reduce tensions, he said.

The Pentagon said that an initial assessment showed the missile was an intercontinental ballistic missile.

The missile travelled about 1,000 kilometres before splashing down into the sea, said Pentagon spokesman Jeff Davis in a statement.



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