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North Korea celebrates longest-range ballistic missile test

18 Mai 2017

Just five days after South Korea elected a president who expressed a desire to reach out to North Korea, Pyongyang sent a challenge to its rival's new leader Sunday by test-firing a ballistic missile. "This could also be an opportunity for China to show that it can initiate some plausible plans to handle the North Korea issue within the framework of the worldwide community", Su added.

On Sunday, North Korea test-launched a ballistic missile that flew, at a high trajectory, about 435 miles, according to South Korea's military.

Monday's claim, if confirmed, would mark another big advance toward the North's goal of fielding a nuclear-tipped missile capable of reaching the USA mainland. They're not there yet, but tests like this are the nuts and bolts a successful weapons program needs.

The Korean Central News Agency said the new missile used a reentry vehicle capable of delivering a warhead to a target.

The 15-member body, which includes main Pyongyang ally China, also demanded that the North "conduct no further nuclear and ballistic missile tests", and vowed to take tough measures, potentially including new sanctions. Independent journalists were not given access to cover the event depicted in this photo.

Defense Minister Han Min-koo said at a meeting of the National Assembly's defense committee that the THAAD's radar in South Korea detected North Korea's launch on Sunday, citing confirmation from the U.S.

Even before North Korea gave its account of what happened, the launch caught the eye of experts. The missile flew 430 miles before crashing into the ocean. If launched at a normal trajectory, it could've reached USA military bases in Guam. Hawaii is roughly 7,000 km from North Korea.

The missile flew for half an hour and reached an unusually high altitude before landing in the Sea of Japan, the South Korean, Japanese and US militaries said.

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

"It is considered an IRBM (intermediate range ballistic missile) of enhanced caliber compared to Musudan missiles that have continually failed", he said, referring to a class of missile created to travel up to 1,860 to 2,485 miles.

Kim Jung On has been very vocal towards his issues against the United States.

The initial assessment is the missile launched this weekend is a medium-range missile the United States calls the KN-17 and that North Korea has identified as the Hwasong-12. That could strike USA military bases in Guam.

North Korea's long-term bid to develop a credible nuclear attack threat to the USA mainland saw it launch Sunday what appeared to be its longest-range missile yet. But the country has never carried out test flights of those rockets' military versions. The assertion couldn't be confirmed; many North Korean claims later turn out to have been exaggerated.

"If you recall, there was a time when North Korea announced it was suspending this kind of (nuclear) program, but unfortunately certain participants in the negotiations process did not have enough patience". It also claims to have perfected the warhead's homing and detonation systems under hard re-entry circumstances.

"The North Korean rocket followed a trajectory away from Russian Federation and at a significant distance", the ministry said in a statement released on Monda y.

North Korea wants to maximize its nuclear capabilities and open a path to dialogue with the U.S.so it will be recognized as a nuclear power, according to one South Korean professor.

In his first comments since a North Korean missile plunged into the sea off the Russian coast on Sunday, President Vladimir Putin condemned Pyongyang's nuclear program as "harmful and risky", but he added that the worldwide community should respond with talks, not threats. Two tests earlier in the year had proved more promising.

Kim also told scientists to "continuously develop more precise and diversified nukes and nuclear striking means" and "make preparations for more tests till the USA and its vassal forces" use reason to make the "right choice", the KCNA reported.

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un was ecstatic with the test launch, saying Monday that if the US "dares opt for a military provocation" his nation is ready.

North Korea's state news agency identified the weapon as a Hwasong-12 "medium long-range" ground-to-ground ballistic missile.

North Korea celebrates longest-range ballistic missile test