North Korea: New long-range missile can carry heavy nuke

Trevor Jackson
May 16, 2017

North Korea on Sunday conducted its most successful missile test ever, launching its newly developed Hwasong-12 missile 430 miles.

Sunday's test missile flew 787 kilometers (489 miles) across North Korea and into the Sea of Japan, also known as the East Sea, according to state media, and it appeared to have struck near the eastern coast of Russian Federation.

Some experts say the missile's claimed ability to carry heavy warheads would allow North Korea to deploy larger bombs or multiple warheads potentially capable of striking different targets.

USA officials said the missile hit the water around 60 miles (around 100 kilometers) from eastern Russia's Vladivostok.

CBS News correspondent Adriana Diaz reports the missile, described by US officials as a KN-17 medium range missile, reached an altitude of more than 1,300 miles - fired, North Korea said, intentionally at a high angle out of consideration for its neighbors.

The U.N. Security Council late Monday expressed "utmost concern" at what it called North Korea's "highly destabilizing behavior and provocative defiance" of council resolutions demanding a halt to all nuclear-related tests.

If launched at a normal trajectory, officials believe it could reach USA military bases in Guam.

Before Sunday's launch, an intermediate-range missile called Musudan was thought to have the longest potential range among the missiles that North Korea has test-fired - about 3,500 kilometers (2,180 miles).

North Korean state media claimed that Sunday's test proved that the country could launch a missile with a nuclear tip.

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North Korea's latest ballistic missile test may be almost as big a deal as its propaganda machine claims.

The timing couldn't have been worse for Chinese President Xi Jinping, who was hosting world leaders, including Putin, at a global forum in Beijing.

North Korea said it fired the missile at a high angle to avoid neighboring countries.

South Korea's Defense Ministry said more analysis was needed to verify the North's claim on the rocket's technological features.

North Korea has tested dozens of banned missiles in the previous year, though this was the first one deemed by US officials to have been a success, after a string of recent failures.

State media paraphrased North Korea's leader as saying that "the most ideal weapon systems in the world will never become the eternal exclusive property of the USA", warning that "the US should not. disregard or misjudge the reality that its mainland and Pacific operation region are in (North Korea's) sighting range for strike".

President Donald Trump's administration has called North Korean ballistic and nuclear efforts unacceptable, but it has swung between threats of military action and offers to talk as it formulates a policy. But according to USA officials, missile launches like this one are a deal-breaker for any hypothetical dialogue.

The White House, in a statement, said that North Korea has been "a flagrant menace for far too long".

Other reports by TheDailyFarc

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