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North Korea Claims First Successful Test of ICBM

In Archive, Kim Jong-un, North Korea on July 4, 2017 at 4:59 AM

07/04/2017

North Korea said Tuesday it had successfully tested its first intercontinental ballistic missile — a watershed moment in its push to develop a nuclear weapon capable of hitting the mainland United States.

US experts said the device could reach Alaska, and the launch, which came as Americans prepared to mark Independence Day, triggered a Twitter outburst from President Donald Trump.

The North’s possession of a working ICBM — something that Trump has vowed “won’t happen” — would force a fundamental recalculation of the strategic threat posed by the isolated, impoverished state.

The “landmark” test of a Hwasong-14 missile was overseen by leader Kim Jong-Un, an emotional female announcer said on state Korean Central Television.

The broadcaster showed his handwritten order to carry out the launch, and pictures of him grinning in celebration, clenching his fist.

The rocket was “a very powerful ICBM that can strike any place in the world”, the announcer said, and “a major breakthrough in the history of our republic”.

In a statement the North’s Academy of Defence Science, which developed the missile, said it reached an altitude of 2,802 kilometres and flew 933 kilometres, calling it the “final gate to rounding off the state nuclear force”.

There are still doubts whether the North can miniaturise a nuclear weapon sufficiently to fit it onto a missile nose cone, or if it has mastered the technology needed for it to survive the difficult re-entry into the Earth’s atmosphere.

But the country has made great progress in its missile capabilities since the ascension to power of Kim, who has overseen three nuclear tests and multiple rocket launches.

The United Nations has imposed multiple sets of sanctions on Pyongyang, which retorts that it needs nuclear arms to defend itself against the threat of invasion.

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, adding the launch did not pose a threat to North America.

It came down in Japan’s exclusive economic zone and was estimated to have reached an altitude that “greatly exceeded” 2,500 kilometres, Tokyo said, prompting arms control specialist Jeffrey Lewis to respond on Twitter: “That’s it. It’s an ICBM. An ICBM that can hit Anchorage not San Francisco, but still.”

David Wright, of the Union of Concerned Scientists, wrote on the organisation’s allthingsnuclear blog that the available figures implied the missile had “a maximum range of roughly 6,700 km on a standard trajectory”.

“That range would not be enough to reach the lower 48 states or the large islands of Hawaii, but would allow it to reach all of Alaska.”

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe told reporters: “This launch clearly shows that the threat has grown.”

The US, Japan and South Korea will hold a summit on the issue on the sidelines of this week’s G20 meeting, he added. “Also I will encourage President Xi Jinping and President Putin to take more constructive measures.”

South Korea’s President Moon Jae-In, who backs both engagement with the North to bring it to the negotiating table and sanctions, and met Trump for a summit in Washington at the weekend, strongly condemned what he called an “irresponsible provocation”.

Beijing called for “restraint”, and hit back at Trump’s Tweet, saying it had made “relentless efforts” on North Korea.

Washington, South Korea’s security guarantor, has more than 28,000 troops in the country to defend it from its communist neighbour, and fears of conflict reached a peak earlier this year as the Trump administration suggested military action was an option under consideration.

There has also been anger in the United States over the death of Otto Warmbier, an American student detained in North Korea for around 18 months before he was returned home in a coma in June.

This is North Korea’s 11th missile test this year.

On June 8, North Korea fired a series of short-range cruise missiles designed to attack ships. Previous tests were of ballistic missiles, including a May 14 projectile that analysts estimate had a range of 4,500 kilometers, putting it within reach of the U.S. territory of Guam.

The U.S. on May 30 tested a missile defense system that it said successfully intercepted and destroyed a mock intercontinental ballistic missile. The trial was the first intended to replicate the flight profile of an ICBM that could be deployed by North Korea.

AFP/Bloomberg

UPDATE 07/05/2017

North Korea has released video footage of the launch.

North Korea Conducts 3rd Nuclear Test, Warns More “Measures” May Come

In News, North Korea on February 12, 2013 at 2:57 PM

 

02/12/2013

A defiant North Korea has conducted its third nuclear test, prompting a wave of international criticism from governments and other organization. It also said that more “measures” may follow, raising concerns that more nuclear devices may be exploded.

­Track LIVE UPDATES on the fallout of the North Korean nuclear test.

Pyongyang said the Tuesday morning explosion was part of an effort to protect its national security and sovereignty, citing US opposition to the recent North Korean space launch.

“It was confirmed that the nuclear test – that was carried out at a high level in a safe and perfect manner using a miniaturized and lighter nuclear device with greater explosive force than previously – did not pose any negative impact on the surrounding ecological environment,” North Korea’s KCNA state news agency said.

 

The UNSC has condemned the test by North Korea, calling it a “great violation of Security Council resolutions,” which poses “continuously a clear threat to international peace and security.”

The UN Security Council has unanimously approved the non-binding statement. The 15-member council “will begin work immediately on appropriate measures”.

The move came in defiance of the UN and individual nations, which have pressured North Korea not to proceed with its plan. After the test sparked condemnation, Pyongyang threatened that if the US responds to the test “with hostility,” then unspecified “second and third measures” may follow. This corresponds with earlier speculation that Pyongyang seeks to detonate more than one nuclear device.

North Korean diplomat Jon Yong Ryong also told the UN disarmament forum in Geneva that his country “will never bow down to any resolution,” in respondr to criticisms that the nuclear test violated several UN Security Council resolutions banning such actions.

South Korean President-elect Park Geun-hye strongly condemned the new test. She said her incoming administration would not tolerate a nuclear-armed North Korea “under any circumstances,” and pledged to enact strong deterrence measures against Pyongyang’s nuclear program.

The Chinese Foreign Ministry has urged all parties involved to reduce tensions and solve the issue through dialogue in the framework of six-party talks. It also expressed “firm opposition” to the test, called on North Korea not to take any actions that would aggravate the situation, and to “honor its commitment to denuclearization”.

US President Barack Obama warned that both Tuesday’s test and the earlier satellite launch are provocations, and that “far from achieving its stated goal of becoming a strong and prosperous nation, North Korea has instead increasingly isolated and impoverished its people through its ill-advised pursuit of weapons of mass destruction and their means of delivery.He threatened“further swift and credible action” against Pyongyang.

UN chief Ban Ki-moon has condemned the nuclear test, calling it “deplorable” and a “grave violation of the relevant Security Council resolutions.” The statement released by Ban’s spokesperson voiced concern over the “negative impact of this deeply destabilizing act on regional stability as well as the global efforts for nuclear non-proliferation.”

The test was also criticized by Britain, Russia, Japan, France, Germany, the EU, the IAEA and NATO.

The likely response to the nuclear test will be a new round of sanctions from the UN. But no matter how many sanctions other nations impose on Pyongyang, it is unlikely to yield to demands voiced by Washington, Asia specialist Tim Beal explained.

“No country really changes policy under sanctions if the alternative, what is being required, is worse than the sanctions,” he told RT. “And that is the case with North Korea. North Korea in a sense could surrender to American demands, but that in fact in their eyes would be worse that what the Americans can do to them with sanctions. So they will persevere until the Americans come to the negotiation table.”

­The United States Geological Survey confirms an earthquake in North Korea’s northeast of between 4.9- and 5.1-magnitude, at a depth of about one kilometer.

The Japanese Meteorological Agency reports that the tremor’s epicenter was located in Kilju county, at exactly the same place and depth as the quake caused by North Korea’s last known underground nuclear test in 2009. North Korea’s first nuclear test in 2006 was also carried out at the Punggye-ri test site.

Pyongyang informed the US and China of its plans for a nuclear test on Monday, Yonhap reported. North Korea said it would continue with the test despite pressure from the UN Security Council and its non-UNSC neighbors.

The South Korean military estimate that the yield of the nuclear explosion was between six and seven kilotons. Russia’s defense ministry says the size of the blast was over seven kilotons. The Vienna-based Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty Organization said the yield was roughly twice as big as the previous nuclear test in 2009.

Further investigation into the nature of the explosion is underway. The evidence gathered – including seismic data, satellite images and data from spy planes detecting radioactive fallout – could allow researchers to deduct the status of North Korea’s secretive nuclear program. So far, the isolated country was believed to be unable to build a nuclear device small enough to fit onto one of its long-range ballistic missiles, making its nuclear capabilities virtually useless for offensive warfare.

Concerns over the claimed miniaturization effort were fueled by North Korea’s rocket launch last December. Pyongyang said it put a satellite into orbit for civilian purposes, and for national prestige, but many countries claimed it was a clandestine rocket weapons test. The UN Security Council condemned the launch, which it said was carried out in violation of a UNSC resolution banning the development of ballistic technology by North Korea.

An hour after the test, Japan said that it is considering leveling further sanctions against North Korea.

“I have ordered that we consider every possible way to address this issue, including our own sanctions, while cooperating with other countries,” Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe told reporters after a meeting of Japan’s security council.

The news of the suspicious seismic activity in North Korea came days after South Korea and the US threatened that they may carry out a pre-emptive strike at North Korean facilities to halt its nuclear program.

China, North Korea’s main economic partner and only ally, said Pyongyang would pay a “heavy price” and threatened to scale down aid should it carry out a nuclear test.

The timing of the test makes it difficult to ease tensions, and a lot of uncertainty surrounds the situation, independent news editor James Corbett said.

“I certainly couldn’t have happened at a worse time internationally speaking,” Corbett told RT. “It’s the Lunar New Year in China, so basically the entire country is holiday. And in the US there is no confirmed defense secretary or central intelligence director.”

“Throw into that the wildcard of Xi Jinping – we don’t know much about him or how he is going to lead China – and the fact that Kim Jong-un is a relatively new leader as well,” he said. “You also have the new Abe government in Japan. There is a lot of wildcard in this mix.”

North Korea Threatens Nuclear Test Targeting U.S.

In News, North Korea on January 24, 2013 at 4:13 PM

01/24/2013

North Korea further sours relations with the U.S. saying it will carry out more rocket launches and a nuclear test specifically targeting the United States.

Best 2013 New Year’s Fireworks Around the World

In Australia, Hong Kong, News, North Korea, UAE, UK, USA, Viral Videos on December 31, 2012 at 8:05 AM

01/01/2013!

 

Happy New Year!

 

Sydney, Australia

 

Pyongyang, North Korea

 

Hong Kong

 

Taipei, Taiwan

 

Dubai, UAE

 

London, England

 

Times Square, NYC Ball Drop

 

Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

 

S. Korea Stages Live-Fire Exercises Near Disputed Sea Border with N. Korea

In News, North Korea on December 27, 2012 at 12:36 AM

12/26/2012

South Korean Marines staged a live-fire drill on Wednesday near the disputed Yellow Sea border with North Korea.

The maneuvers involved self-propelled howitzers and a multiple rocket launch system was held on two islands, Baengnyeong and Yeonpyeong, the military said.

Hundreds of island residents were evacuated into safe zones during the two-hour drill.

There was no response from the North, AFP reported.

A similar drill on Yeonpyeong in 2010 provoked a North Korean artillery barrage which killed four people.

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