The New Indian Express - - FRONT PAGE -

NORTH Korea fired a bal­lis­tic mis­sile over Ja­pan and into the Pa­cific Fri­day, re­spond­ing to new UN sanc­tions with its fur­thestever mis­sile flight in what an­a­lysts called a demon­stra­tion of its abil­ity to tar­get Guam.

The launch, from near Py­ongyang, came af­ter the United Na­tions Se­cu­rity Coun­cil im­posed an eighth set of mea­sures on the iso­lated coun­try fol­low­ing its sixth nu­clear test ear­lier this month. The blast was by far its largest to date and Py­ongyang said it was a hy­dro­gen bomb small enough to fit onto a mis­sile.

In New York, the Se­cu­rity Coun­cil called an emer­gency meet­ing for later Fri­day. The US Pa­cific Com­mand con­firmed Fri­day’s rocket was an in­ter­me­di­ate range bal­lis­tic mis­sile (IRBM) and said it did not pose a threat to North Amer­ica or to the US Pa­cific ter­ri­tory of Guam, which Py­ongyang has threat­ened to bracket with “en­velop­ing fire”.

Seoul’s de­fence min­istry said it prob­a­bly trav­elled around 3,700 kilo­me­tres and reached a max­i­mum al­ti­tude of 770 kilo­me­tres. It was “the fur­thest over­ground any of their bal­lis­tic mis­siles has ever trav­elled”, Joseph Dempsey of the In­ter­na­tional In­sti­tute for Strate­gic Stud­ies said on Twit­ter.

Physi­cist David Wright, of the Union of Con­cerned Sci­en­tists, added: “North Korea demon­strated that it could reach Guam with this mis­sile, al­though the pay­load the mis­sile was car­ry­ing is not known” and its ac­cu­racy was in doubt. The North has raised global ten­sions with its rapid progress in weapons tech­nol­ogy un­der leader Kim Jong-Un.

Mil­lions of Ja­panese were jolted awake by blar­ing sirens and emer­gency text mes­sage alerts. “Mis­sile launch! mis­sile launch! A mis­sile ap­pears to have been launched from North Korea,” loud­speak­ers blared on Cape Erimo, on Hokkaido’s south­ern tip.

Ja­panese Prime Min­is­ter Shinzo Abe said Tokyo could “never tol­er­ate” what he called a “dan­ger­ous provoca­tive ac­tion that threat­ens world peace”. “If North Korea con­tin­ues to walk down this path, it has no bright fu­ture,” he told re­porters. “We must make North Korea un­der­stand this.” The mis­sile was said to have over­flown the US ally for around two min­utes.

China and Rus­sia must in­di­cate their in­tol­er­ance for these reck­less mis­sile launches by tak­ing di­rect ac­tions of their own

Rex Tiller­son, US Sec­re­tary of state

China op­poses the DPRK’s vi­o­la­tion of the res­o­lu­tion of the Se­cu­rity Coun­cil, and its use of bal­lis­tic mis­siles. The con­cerned par­ties should ex­er­cise re­straint

Hua Chun­y­ing, China FM spokes­woman

Rus­sia firmly con­demns the lat­est provoca­tive launches which lead to a fur­ther es­ca­la­tion of ten­sions on the penin­sula

Dmitry Pesko, Krem­lin spokesman

We can­not as­sume North Korea’s in­ten­tion, but given what it has said, I think it has Guam in mind

It­sunori On­odera, Ja­pan’s de­fence min­is­ter


South Korea’s mis­sile sys­tem fires Hyunmu-2 mis­sile into the East Sea from an undis­closed lo­ca­tion |

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