Ball in Trump’s court

North Korea de­fies threats with new mis­sile launch over Ja­pan

The Weekend Post - - World -

NORTH Korea fired an in­ter­me­di­ate-range mis­sile over Ja­pan into the north­ern Pa­cific Ocean yes­ter­day, its longest­such flight and a clear mes­sage of de­fi­ance to its ri­vals.

Since US President Don­ald Trump threat­ened the North with “fire and fury” in Au­gust, Py­ongyang has con­ducted its most pow­er­ful nu­clear test, threat­ened to send mis­siles into the wa­ters around Guam and launched two mis­siles of in­creas­ing range over US ally Ja­pan.

It tested its first in­ter­con­ti­nen­tal bal­lis­tic mis­siles in July.

Ear­lier this week, the UN Se­cu­rity Coun­cil unan­i­mously ap­proved new sanc­tions on North Korea af­ter it car­ried out its sixth and strong­est nu­clear test on Septem­ber 3.

Aus­tralian Prime Min­is­ter Mal­colm Turn­bull said yester- day’s launch, along with “vi­o­lent out­bursts of North Korean pro­pa­ganda threat­en­ing Ja­pan and the US overnight,” were signs “the sanc­tions are work­ing.”

He called for greater global ac­tion to de­ter North Korea, not­ing China had the great­est eco­nomic lever­age over Py­ongyang.

The pos­si­bil­ity of North Korean leader Kim Jong-un start- ing a war would be a “catas­tro­phe,” he said.

“He would be sign­ing a sui­cide note. That would be the end for his gov­ern­ment and thou­sands and thou­sands of peo­ple would die.”

The grow­ing fre­quency, power and con­fi­dence dis­played by these tests seem to con­firm what govern­ments and out­side ex­perts have long feared: North Korea is closer to its goal of build­ing a mil­i­tary arse­nal to vi­ably tar­get both US troops in Asia and the US home­land.

This, in turn, is meant to al­low North Korea greater mil­i­tary free­dom in the re­gion by rais­ing doubts in Seoul and Tokyo that Wash­ing­ton would risk the an­ni­hi­la­tion of a US city to pro­tect its Asian al­lies.

It is es­ti­mated the mis­sile trav­elled about 3700km.

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