Posts Tagged ‘Intercontinental Ballistic Missile’

Should Beijing be worried about India’s latest missile launch?

January 19, 2018

New Delhi is making giant strides in its nuclear weapons development, but observers say there are many reasons for it showing off its growing military might

PUBLISHED : Friday, 19 January, 2018, 7:03pm
UPDATED : Friday, 19 January, 2018, 9:15pm
South China Morning Post

With the latest successful test-firing of a long-range nuclear-capable missile – with the scope to land a warhead on almost any part of the Chinese mainland – India moved another step closer to establishing an effective deterrent against Beijing’s rising military might, observers said.

The Agni-V intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) was launched on Thursday from Abdul Kalam Island in the Bay of Bengal, according to a statement released by India’s defence ministry.

With a range of up to 5,000km (3,106 miles), it has the capability to carry a nuclear warhead to almost anywhere in Asia, or even parts of Europe and Africa, The Times of India reported.

Rajeev Ranjan Chaturvedy, a research associate at the Institute of South Asian Studies at the National University of Singapore, said the successful launch marked another milestone for New Delhi in the development of an effective nuclear deterrent.

“China is a potential threat in the long term, and India, like many other countries, is strengthening its defence capabilities,” he said.

But New Delhi was not only concerned with what Beijing was doing, Chaturvedy said. It also had its own agenda.

“India’s defence programme is very systematic. China’s aggressive behaviour may be an important factor, but it’s not the only factor. India is a rising power and needs a strong defence force.”

Song Zhongping, a former instructor with the Second Artillery Corps of the People’s Liberation Army – China’s military – said that the timing of India’s missile launch reflected the rising tensions around the world, not least with regards to the situation in North Korea.

The Times of India said the successful launch of the Agni-V missile would also add weight to New Delhi’s case for becoming a permanent member of the United Nations Security Council. Its five incumbents – China, the United Kingdom, the United States, Russia and France – are all nuclear powers.

Beyond the world situation, Song, who is now a military commentator with Phoenix Television in Hong Kong, said that Beijing should not underestimate India’s growing nuclear capabilities.

“Agni-V is not only a strategic weapon, but also a real battle weapon with high mobility and stealth capabilities,” he said. “If it goes into mass production it would pose a great challenge to China.”

Thursday’s test flight was the missile’s fifth, and its success suggested that it would soon be put into service, he said.

The Agni-V, which is capable of carrying a single nuclear warhead, was also a stepping stone to the Agni-VI, which would have the capacity to carry multiple devices, Song said.

“It’s likely that the new generation of ICBMs, the Agni-VI, will be equipped with multiple, independently targetable re-entry warheads,” he said. “Once New Delhi has that capability, it will be a great threat to Beijing.”

Despite any implied hostility, Swaran Singh, a professor in the School of International Studies, Jawaharlal Nehru University in New Delhi, said that India’s possession of a greater nuclear capability might actually be a fillip for closer Sino-Indian relations.

“Until the Agni-V is fully operational … India remains vulnerable as it would not be able to reach key targets across China,” he said.

“But its deployment may encourage China to initiate nuclear risk reduction and security- and confidence-building measures with India, which in turn could be seen as China’s endorsement of India’s status as a nuclear power.”

Macau-based military observer Antony Wong Dong said India developed the Agni family of missiles in the 1980s to give it a military advantage over China.

“That’s why Beijing developed its anti-missile system,” he said.

 http://www.scmp.com/news/china/diplomacy-defence/article/2129720/should-beijing-be-worried-about-indias-latest-missile
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Donald Trump says Russia helping North Korea skirt sanctions; Pyongyang close to long-range missile

January 18, 2018

WASHINGTON (REUTERS) – US President Donald Trump said on Wednesday (Jan 17) that Russia is helping North Korea get supplies in violation of international sanctions and that Pyongyang is getting “closer every day” to being able to deliver a long-range missile to the United States.

“Russia is not helping us at all with North Korea,” Trump said during an Oval Office interview with Reuters.

“What China is helping us with, Russia is denting. In other words, Russia is making up for some of what China is doing.”

China and Russia both signed onto the latest rounds of United Nations Security Council sanctions against North Korea imposed last year. There was no immediate comment from the Russian embassy in Washington on Trump’s remarks.

With North Korea persisting as the major global challenge facing Trump this year, the president cast doubt during the 53-minute interview on whether talks with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un would be useful. In the past he has not ruled out direct talks with Kim.

“I’d sit down, but I’m not sure that sitting down will solve the problem,” he said, noting that past negotiations with the North Koreans by his predecessors had failed to rein in North Korea’s nuclear and missile programmes.

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“They’ve talked for 25 years and they’ve taken advantage of our presidents, of our previous presidents,” he said.

He declined to comment when asked whether he had engaged in any communications at all with Kim, with whom he has exchanged public insults and threats, heightening tensions in the region.

Trump said he hoped the standoff with Pyongyang could be resolved “in a peaceful way, but it’s very possible that it can’t”.

Trump praised China for its efforts to restrict oil and coal supplies to North Korea but said Beijing could do much more to help constrain Pyongyang.

The White House last week welcomed news that imports to China from North Korea, which counts on Beijing as its main economic partner, plunged in December to their lowest in dollar terms since at least the start of 2014.

‘THEY GET CLOSER EVERY DAY’

But Trump said Russia appears to be filling in the gaps left by the Chinese.

Western European security sources told Reuters in late December that Russian tankers had supplied fuel to North Korea on at least three occasions in recent months by transferring cargoes at sea in violation of international sanctions. Russia has denied breaching North Korea sanctions.

North Korea relies on imported fuel to keep its struggling economy functioning. It also requires oil for its intercontinental ballistic missile and nuclear programme.

Trump has repeatedly blamed a US investigation into whether Russia meddled in the 2016 presidential election for hindering an improvement in US-Russian relations.

“He can do a lot,” Trump said of Russian President Vladimir Putin. “But unfortunately we don’t have much of a relationship with Russia, and in some cases it’s probable that what China takes back, Russia gives. So the net result is not as good as it could be.”

Trump, who has grappled with nuclear tests and ballistic missile launches by North Korea since he took office a year ago, said Pyongyang is steadily advancing in its ability to deliver a missile to the United States.

“They’re not there yet, but they’re close. And they get closer every day,” said Trump.

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North Korea said after its last intercontinental ballistic missile launch in November that the test had put the US mainland within range. Some experts agreed that based on the missile’s trajectory and distance it had the capability to fly as far as Washington, DC.

They said, however, that North Korea had not yet offered any proof that it had mastered all technical hurdles, including development of a re-entry vehicle needed to deliver a heavy nuclear warhead reliably atop an ICBM, but it was likely that it soon would. Pyongyang could reach that milestone by the end of the year, some intelligence officials said.

Trump said he welcomed talks between North and South Korea over the Winter Olympics to be held in the South next month and said this could be an initial phase in helping defuse the crisis.

He would not say whether the US has been considering a limited, pre-emptive attack to show the North that the United States means business.

“We’re playing a very, very hard game of poker and you don’t want to reveal your hand,” he said.

US officials had spoken of Trump’s willingness to weigh a pre-emptive strike despite the risk of touching off a war. But in recent days Trump has appeared to signal more of an openness toward diplomacy.

North Korea preparing to launch satellite

December 26, 2017

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North Korean leader Kim Jong Un watches the launch of a Hwasong-12 missile. Credit Reuters

SEOUL (AFP) – North Korea is preparing to launch a satellite, a Seoul newspaper said on Tuesday (Dec 26), as outside observers warn that the nuclear-armed regime’s space programme is a fig leaf for weapons tests.

Pyongyang is under multiple UN sanctions over its nuclear and missile tests and is prohibited from carrying out any launch using ballistic missile technology, including satellites.

“Through various channels, we’ve recently learned that the North has completed a new satellite and named it Kwangmyongsong-5”, the Joongang Ilbo daily reported, quoting a South Korean government source.

“Their plan is to put a satellite equipped with cameras and telecommunication devices into orbit,” he said.

Pyongyang launched their Kwangmyongsong-4 satellite in February 2016, which most in the international community viewed as a disguised ballistic missile test.

A spokesman for the South Korean military joint chiefs of staff said there was “nothing out of ordinary at this moment”, but added that Seoul was watching out for any provocative acts, “including the test of a long-range missile disguised as a satellite launch”.

The report came as the North’s ruling party newspaper Rodong Sinmun reasserted the regime’s right to launch satellites and develop its space technology.

In a commentary published on Monday and titled “peaceful space programmes are sovereign countries’ legitimate rights”, the daily said Pyongyang’s satellite launches “absolutely correspond” with international laws concerning space development.

At a UN General Assembly committee meeting in October, North Korea’s deputy UN ambassador Kim In Ryong said his country has a 2016 to 2020 plan to develop “practical satellites that can contribute to the economic development and improvement of the people’s living”.

He stressed North Korea’s right to produce and launch satellites “will not be changed just because the US denies it”.

North Korea is believed to have successfully put a satellite into orbit in December 2012 after years of failures dating back to 1998, when it launched a pilot satellite and named it Kwangmyongsong-1.

Earlier this month, the Russian newspaper Rossiyskaia Gazeta quoted a Russian military expert, Mr Vladimir Khrustalev, as saying that North Korea was expected to launch two satellites – an Earth exploration satellite and a communications satellite – in the near future.

Mr Khrustalev made the remark after returning from his week-long trip to North Korea in mid-November, when he met with representatives of the country’s National Aerospace Development Administration (NADA), the Russian daily said.

Tensions have soared as the isolated regime has staged a series of atomic and intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) tests, most recently on Nov 29.

Japan approves introduction of Aegis Ashore missile defense system amid North Korea threat

December 21, 2017
BY 

STAFF WRITER

The Cabinet of Prime Minister Shinzo Abe on Tuesday approved the installation of two land-based Aegis Ashore missile defense systems to defend against North Korea’s growing nuclear and missile threats, highlighted by a test of what appeared to be an intercontinental ballistic missile last month.

The approval will allow the Defense Ministry to buy two Aegis Ashore systems to add to Japan’s current two-step missile defense system consisting of Patriot batteries and Aegis-equipped destroyers.

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 A ballistic missile interceptor is fired from the Aegis Ashore Missile Defense Test Complex in Kauai, Hawaii, in December 2015. REUTERS

Defense Ministry officials said the government plans to deploy the systems in two places, by 2023 at the earliest, but that the locations are yet to be decided. The cost of each system could be more than ¥100 billion, they said.

Noting that North Korea’s nuclear and missile development poses a “new level of threat” to Japan’s security, the government said in a document endorsed by the Cabinet that Japan needs “to fundamentally improve our ballistic missile defense abilities to protect our country at all times and in a sustainable manner.”

Aegis Ashore, a U.S.-made land-based version of the Aegis combat system developed for warships, is a collection of radars, computers and missiles.

Acquiring Aegis Ashore would protect the entire country, from Hokkaido to Okinawa Prefecture, the government says. The government had also considered a different U.S. system, the Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD), but it would require six sites to cover the nation. Aegis Ashore is more cost effective, according to the Defense Ministry.

The new system would reduce the workload of the Self-Defense Forces in preparing for missile intercepts compared with the sea-based operations of Aegis destroyers, according to ministry officials.

To expedite the introduction of Aegis Ashore, the ministry plans to earmark ¥2.8 billion for information-gathering activities in the supplementary budget for the current fiscal year ending in March. It is also seeking ¥730 million in next year’s budget to cover design costs and research fees.

“We cannot say what the final costs will be, but we will move ahead (to introduce Aegis Ashore) on the fastest possible schedule, given public calls that the government should deal as swiftly and urgently as possible with the ballistic missile defense issue,” Defense Minister Itsunori Onodera told a news conference on Tuesday.

In the ministry’s initial budgetary request for fiscal 2018 made in August, which came to a record-high ¥5.26 trillion, the ministry said it was seeking funds to introduce a new missile shield system, while leaving the actual sum unspecified.

Japan’s current missile shield comprises two layers. The first is Maritime Self-Defense Force destroyers that can stop missiles in the outer atmosphere using the Aegis combat system and Standard Missile-3 interceptors. The second layer is the Air Self-Defense Force’s ground-based Patriot Advanced Capability-3 missiles, designed to counter attacks in the lower atmosphere.

Aegis Ashore, to be equipped with newly developed Standard Missile-3 Block IIA interceptors, will be an addition to the two layers to defend wider areas, and will be operated by the Ground Self-Defense Force.

The government plans to start selecting areas for the facilities, but the deployment could trigger concern among residents living nearby as the system’s radars emit strong radio waves.

So far, the government is considering Akita and Yamaguchi prefectures as candidate sites, sources said.

https://www.japantimes.co.jp/news/2017/12/19/national/politics-diplomacy/japan-approves-introduction-aegis-ashore-missile-defense-system-amid-north-korea-threat/#.Wjt5Ct-nGUk

Chinese newspaper publishes nuclear war safety tips

December 6, 2017

AFP

© KCNA via KNS/AFP | Last week Pyongyang fired what it said was a new intercontinental ballistic missile

A state-run newspaper in a Chinese province bordering North Korea published a list of tips on Wednesday for how civilians can protect themselves in the event of a nuclear attack.

The apocalyptic article comes as tensions soar on the Korean Peninsula over Pyongyang’s nuclear ambitions.

A full-page illustrated advisory in the Jilin Daily, an official publication of the northeast province, instructed readers to close their doors and windows and thoroughly wash their belongings to minimise radioactive impact.

“Modern warfare is three-dimensional, and intercontinental missiles could hit any corner of the world,” the newspaper said.

While the publication does not explicitly mention North Korea, Jilin was one of the Chinese provinces where people reported feeling tremors after Pyongyang conducted a powerful nuclear test this September.

Last week Pyongyang fired an intercontinental ballistic missile that it said could hit anywhere on the US mainland.

In China, the authoritarian regime’s largest trade partner and sole major diplomatic ally, concern has grown in recent months that North Korea’s expanding weapons programme will cause residual damage along the border.

China’s environmental protection ministry performed eight days of emergency monitoring following the September blast, which the North claimed was the successful detonation of a hydrogen bomb.

Authorities concluded that radiation levels remained normal in the four provinces where tests were done, including Jilin.

In something reminiscent of the Cold War era, the Jilin Daily used a colourful comic Wednesday to tell readers to wear masks and take iodine tablets to prevent radioactive iodine from collecting in their thyroid glands.

To remove radioactive contamination on the body, one should vigorously wash garments and swab the ears, nose and mouth, the paper advised.

Xu Yucheng, a deputy director for Jilin’s Civil Air Defense Office, told the Beijing News that the newspaper’s goal was to “strengthen national defense education”.

Compared to Japan and other developed countries, Xu said, the public education on “ordinary national defense” in China is “still not sufficient”.

An editorial in the Global Times, a state-run nationalistic tabloid, sought to calm what it called a “storm of conjecture” that the nuclear attack advisory has aroused on Chinese social media.

While conflict on the Korean peninsula is not unavoidable, the editorial said, “China must prepare for the worst. Both the country and its people should heighten vigilance.”

Beijing has backed a slew of sanctions on Pyongyang that include bans on imports of North Korean coal, iron ore and seafood.

But the Chinese government fears taking any tougher action could cause the regime to collapse, triggering a refugee crisis across its border with the North and eliminating a strategic buffer separating China from the US military in South Korea.

Beijing has proposed that the North suspend missile and nuclear tests in exchange for a suspension of US-South Korean military exercises, a suggestion Washington has repeatedly rejected.

North Korea holds mass celebrations for latest missile test

December 2, 2017

AFP

© AFP | North Korean soldiers attend a mass rally to celebrate the North’s declaration on November 29 it had achieved full nuclear statehood, on Kim Il-Sung Square in Pyongyang

SEOUL (AFP) – North Korea held mass celebrations for its latest successful long-range missile test, Pyongyang’s state media said Saturday, with a propaganda-filled display of fireworks and dancing in public squares.The ruling Workers Party official daily Rodong Sinmun covered its front page with colour photographs showing thousands of tightly packed soldiers and people applauding in Pyongyang’s Kim Il-Sung square, which was decorated with large portraits of the North’s late leaders.

“We heartily celebrate the successful test launch of the Hwasong-15 which showed Chosun (North Korea)’s power and greatness to the whole world”, read one banner held up by the crowd, referring to the missile.

 
In this photo provided on Thursday, Nov. 30, 2017, by the North Korean government, North Korean leader Kim Jong Un inspects an intercontinental ballistic missile test in North Korea on Wednesday, Nov. 29 Korean Central News Agency/Korea News Service via AP

North Korea on Wednesday successfully tested a new intercontinental ballistic missile, with leader Kim Jong-Un declaring his country had now achieved full nuclear statehood.

The US in response warned that Kim Jong-Un’s regime would be “utterly destroyed” if its pursuit of a long-range nuclear missile arsenal provokes a military clash, and has battled to maintain international solidarity in the face of North Korea’s nuclear threat.

Kim himself was absent from the celebrations — he usually stays away from such events — but Friday’s gathering drew key military, party and government leaders.

“Long Live the General Kim Jong-Un who has brought us the great historic cause of nuclear statehood”, another banner read.

Vice Chairman Pak Kwang-Ho of the party’s decision-making Central Committee told the crowd that, after Wednesday’s test launch, “now no one can infringe our sovereignty and rights to survive and develop”, according to the daily.

He said that the United States had been “jolted” at the strengthening of North Korea’s nuclear force and could attempt to commit “robber-like” provocative acts.

He repeated Kim’s warning that the North would respond with the “highest level of hard-line countermeasure in history”.

Kim first made the threat in September in response to US President Donald Trump’s UN speech threatening to destroy the North and mocking him as “Little Rocket Man”.

The ICBM Hwasong-15 type weaponry system used in Wednesday’s test is an intercontinental ballistic rocket tipped with super-large heavy warhead capable of striking the whole mainland of the US, the North said.

But analysts remain unconvinced that the North has mastered the technology required to launch and direct a missile, and ensure it survives the difficult re-entry into the Earth’s atmosphere.

Tensions are expected to rise further in the coming week as South Korea and the United States launch a massive air force drill mobilising some 230 aircraft including six US F-22 Raptor stealth jet fighters.

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This Nov. 29, 2017, image provided by the North Korean government on Thursday, Nov. 30, 2017, shows North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, third from left, and what the North Korean government calls the Hwasong-15 intercontinental ballistic missile, in North Korea (Korean Central News Agency/Korea News Service via AP)

Russia rejects US call to cut North Korea ties (Dear Donald Trump: Russia is not your friend.)

November 30, 2017

AFP

© AFP/File | Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said Moscow rejected a US call to cut ties with North Korea in response to Pyongyang’s launch of an intercontinental ballistic missile

MOSCOW (AFP) – Russia on Thursday rejected a US call to cut ties with North Korea in response to Pyongyang’s launch of an intercontinental ballistic missile.”We see this negatively,” Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov told journalists in the Belarusian capital Minsk, Russian news agencies reported.

“We have repeatedly stated that the pressure of sanctions has been exhausted.”

He accused the United States of seeking to provoke Kim Jong-Un’s regime and demanded to know whether Washington was plotting to destroy the isolated country.

“It’s as if the recent actions of the United States are consciously directed to provoke Pyongyang towards other radical actions,” Russia’s top diplomat said.

“The Americans need to explain what they are aiming for. If they are looking for a reason to destroy North Korea, then they should say it straight and the American leadership should confirm it,” Lavrov was quoted as saying.

On Wednesday, Washington warned that North Korea’s leadership will be “utterly destroyed” if war breaks out as it called on countries to cut all diplomatic and trade ties with North Korea.

The latest threat came after North Korea tested its third ICBM, which it claimed was capable of striking anywhere in the United States.

“If war comes, make no mistake: the North Korean regime will be utterly destroyed,” US Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley said.

US President Donald Trump derided Kim as a “sick puppy” and threatened “major” new sanctions.

The Kremlin on Wednesday called the latest missile test a “provocative action” and appealed for calm on all sides.

Russian President Vladimir Putin has emerged as one of the most strident voices against punishing Pyongyang, insisting that further sanctions and threats are “useless” against a regime that feels cornered.

The United States earlier this year pressed for a full United Nations Nikki Haleyon North Korea but dropped that demand following resistance from China and Russia.

Related:

North Korean Missiles Can Hit Anyplace in The World — US Defense Secretary James Mattis said

November 29, 2017

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STORY HIGHLIGHTS

  • The missile went higher than any previous North Korean test
  • North Korea has tested 23 missiles in 16 tests since February

Washington (CNN) — North Korea claims to have successfully tested a new type of intercontinental ballistic missile, topped with a “super-large heavy warhead,” which is capable of striking the US mainland.

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The country’s state media made the announcement Wednesday, hours after leader Kim Jong Un ordered the 3 a.m. launch of the Hwasong-15 missile, which reached the highest altitude ever recorded by a North Korean missile.
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State news agency KCNA called its so-called new missile “the most powerful ICBM” and said it “meets the goal of the completion of the rocket weaponry system development.
After the launch, Kim said North Korea had “finally realized the great historic cause of completing the state nuclear force,” according to KCNA.
US Defense Secretary James Mattis said earlier the missile launched demonstrated North Korea had the ability to hit “everywhere in the world.”
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The launch was the first since September, and came despite repeated warnings from President Donald Trump who told reporters at the White House after the launch that the US “will handle” the situation.
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“We will take care of it,” the President said.
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The Hwasong-15 soared 4,475 kilometers (2,800 miles) in the sky, spending 53 minutes in the air, before splashing down in waters off the coast of Japan, North Korea said. The figures tallied with estimates released by Japan and South Korea.
Trump on North Korea launch: We will handle it

 All Videos at: http://www.cnn.com/2017/11/28/politics/north-korea-missile-launch/index.html
Trump on North Korea launch: We will handle it 00:17
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Mattis, who was with Trump in the Roosevelt Room of the White House, outlined how much tougher that situation has become. The test missile, he said, went “higher, frankly, than any previous shot they have taken” and demonstrates that North Korean leader Kim Jong Un now has the ability to hit “everywhere in the world basically.”
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“The bottom line is, it’s a continued effort to build a threat — a ballistic missile threat that endangers world peace, regional peace and certainly the United States,” Mattis concluded.
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David Wright of the Union of Concerned Scientists said that if the missile hadn’t been lofted into the sky and had flown on a standard trajectory, it would have been capable of traveling 13,000 kilometers, or 8,100 miles.
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“Such a missile would have more than enough range to reach Washington, DC, and in fact any part of the continental United States,” Wright said in a statement, though he noted that range probably wouldn’t be possible if the missile were fitted with a heavy nuclear warhead.
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The missile was launched from the west part of North Korea and is likely to have landed in Japan’s Exclusive Economic Zone, according to Masaki Hikida, public relations officer at Japan’s Ministry of Defense.
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The flight time would suggest that this was a major ICBM test “possibly in operational settings” and should “disabuse US officials from thinking military displays, sanctions, or threats are deterring North Korean tests,” according to Adam Mount, a senior fellow at the Federation of American Scientists.
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“Today’s test proves that Pyongyang still feels able to test at will,” he told CNN, adding it also shows the Trump administration “has to get serious about deterring an atmospheric nuclear test.”
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North Korean Foreign Minister Ri Yong Ho had hinted in September that Pyongyang could carry out an atmospheric nuclear test over the Pacific Ocean, possibly by strapping a warhead atop a missile or dropping it from an airplane.
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Condemnations

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Secretary of State Rex Tillerson strongly condemned the launch and called for redoubled international pressure on Pyongyang, saying that the US “remains committed to finding a peaceful path to denuclearization.” But he added a lightly veiled warning about limited US patience.
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“Diplomatic options remain viable and open, for now,” Tillerson said.
Graham warns of war with North Korea

 http://www.cnn.com/2017/11/28/politics/north-korea-missile-launch/index.html
Graham warns of war with North Korea 01:42
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Sen. Lindsey Graham, a South Carolina Republican who sits on the Senate Armed Services Committee, told CNN’s Wolf Blitzer that, “If we have to go to war to stop this, we will. If there’s a war with North Korea it will be because North Korea brought it on itself, and we’re headed to a war if things don’t change.”
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On Wednesday, a North Korea official reiterated comments made to CNN in October that there would be no diplomacy until the country has proven its nuclear capabilities.
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The official added the two steps needed to achieve this goal were the “testing of a long-range ICBM (intercontinental ballistic missile)” capable of reaching the US, followed by an above-ground nuclear detonation.
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“Before we can engage in diplomacy with the Trump administration, we want to send a clear message that the DPRK has a reliable defensive and offensive capability to counter any aggression from the United States,” the official said, referring to the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea.
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Prior to today’s launch, lawmakers on both sides of the aisle had warned of devastating consequences if the US takes military action against North Korea. Pyongyang can batter Seoul with a barrage of conventional weapons, putting millions of South Koreans and more than 28,000 US troops stationed there within range.
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Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, speaking from Tokyo, issued a warning of his own. The latest missile launch, he said, “significantly undermines the strong determination of the international community’s peaceful resolution of the issue.”
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International diplomacy swiftly kicked into high gear, with US Ambassador to the UN Nikki Haley requesting an emergency meeting of the UN Security Council with her counterparts from South Korea and Japan. That meeting is set to take place Wednesday afternoon.
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Carrots and sticks

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Meanwhile, Tillerson announced that the US and Canada will convene a meeting of nations that contribute military forces to the UN Command that supports South Korea to discuss “how the global community can counter North Korea’s threat to international peace.”
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For decades, multiple US administrations and international coalitions have tried and failed to curb Pyongyang’s nuclear program, whether they’ve used carrots or sticks. Sometimes, North Korea has taken the carrots — aid and greater access to the international system — and still continued its program.
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Sanctions, the latest round of which the US announced on November 22, seem to have made little difference in curbing North Korea’s resolve to obtain nuclear weapons and the means to deliver them.
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The Center for International and Strategic Studies, which closely monitors North Korean launches through its Beyond Parallel initiative, said historical data shows that Pyongyang is set to significantly ratchet up its testing in the first half of 2018.
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South Korea demonstrated some of its efforts to prepare for North Korean hostilities on Tuesday. The country’s Joint Chiefs of Staff said the South Korean military had carried out a “precision missile strike drill” just minutes after North Korea’s launch.
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The precision missile strike matched the flight distance of the North Korean missile and landed in waters off the east coast of South Korea, effectively showing North Korea it can hit the exact location where Pyongyang launched the Hwasong-15.
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“Our army, navy and air force jointly fired three missiles (a ground-to-ground missile, a ship-to-ground missile and an air-to surface missile) and hit the same target around the similar time to show its ability to target North Korea’s origin of provocation,” said Park Soo-hyun, a spokesman for South Korean President Moon Jae-in.
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Park added that Moon and Trump spoke on the phone for about 20 minutes.
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‘On hair trigger alert’

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The point, Mattis told reporters in Washington, was “to make certain North Korea understands that they could be taken under fire by our ally.”
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Mount of the Federation of American Scientists said the South Korean goal was to show the North that “it has the ability to hit the North’s mobile missile launchers or leadership targets.”
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“It is a measured and pointed response but also a reminder that the peninsula remains on hair-trigger alert,” he told CNN. “In this situation, provocations or even mistakes could quickly escalate out of control.”
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White House press secretary Sarah Sanders said on Twitter that Trump “was briefed, while missile was still in the air, on the situation in North Korea.”
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Mysterious 'ghost ships' wash ashore in Japan

 http://www.cnn.com/2017/11/28/politics/north-korea-missile-launch/index.html
 Mysterious ‘ghost ships’ wash ashore in Japan 01:55
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North Korea has launched missiles at an unprecedented rate in 2017, testing two in July that also demonstrated intercontinental range.
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Before Wednesday’s test, North Korea had fired 22 missiles without active warheads during 15 tests since February. US officials say North Korea is continuing to develop its missiles, rocket fuel and engines, as well as targeting and guidance systems.
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The US and South Korea believe Pyongyang may be able to put a miniaturized warhead on a missile sometime in 2018 — giving it the theoretical capability to launch a missile with a warhead atop it that could reach the US.
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It is currently testing a more advanced version of its existing ICBM, a US official told CNN earlier this month.

http://www.cnn.com/2017/11/28/politics/north-korea-missile-launch/index.html

See also:

North Korea Says Nuke Push Complete as Entire U.S. in Range

https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2017-11-29/north-korea-says-nuclear-program-completed-after-new-icbm-test