N. Korea Tests An­other In­ter­me­di­ate-Range Mis­sile

Iran News - - FRONT PAGE -

PY­ONGYANG (dis­patches) - North Korea’s sec­ond mis­sile launch over Ja­pan in as many months flew far enough to put the U.S. ter­ri­tory of Guam in range, a provo­ca­tion that comes days af­ter the United Na­tions ap­proved harsher sanc­tions against Kim Jong Un’s regime.

The in­ter­me­di­ate-range mis­sile fired from Py­ongyang at 6:57 a.m. on Fri­day flew over the north­ern is­land of Hokkaido, reach­ing an al­ti­tude of 770 kilo­me­ters (478 miles) be­fore land­ing in the Pa­cific Ocean. It trav­eled 3,700 kilo­me­ters -- fur­ther than the 3,400 kilo­me­ters from Py­ongyang to Guam, which North Korea has re­peat­edly threat­ened.

“The range of this test was sig­nif­i­cant since North Korea demon­strated that it could reach Guam with this mis­sile, although the pay­load the mis­sile was car­ry­ing is not known,” David Wright, a co-di­rec­tor of the Union of Con­cerned Sci­en­tists, wrote in a blog post.

North Korea, which has fired more than a dozen mis­siles this year, had pledged to re­tal­i­ate af­ter the UN Se­cu­rity Coun­cil pun­ished the coun­try for its sixth and most pow­er­ful nu­clear test on Sept. 3. In­vestors largely shrugged it off on Fri­day, show­ing that fi­nan­cial mar­kets are grow­ing ac­cus­tomed to North Korea’s provo­ca­tions and the re­sponses of the U.S. and its al­lies.

A North Korean for­eign min­istry of­fi­cial told re­porters at Bei­jing’s in­ter­na­tional air­port that Fri­day’s launch was a “nor­mal part of strength­en­ing our nu­clear de­ter­rent,” ac­cord­ing to NHK.

The Ja­panese pub­lic broad­caster cited Choe Kang Il, deputy di­rec­tor gen­eral for North Amer­i­can af­fairs, as say­ing North Korea wouldn’t en­ter di­a­logue un­less the U.S. stops an­tag­o­niz­ing his na­tion. Choe was on his way back from Switzer­land, where he at­tended a meet­ing on North­east Asian se­cu­rity.

U.S. President Don­ald Trump was briefed on the mis­sile launch but made no men­tion of North Korea in re­marks at a White House din­ner on Thurs­day night. The president has said all op­tions -- in­clud­ing mil­i­tary -- are on the ta­ble to stop North Korea from ob­tain­ing the abil­ity to strike the U.S. with a nu­clear weapon, and has ques­tioned the use­ful­ness of talks.

“These con­tin­ued provo­ca­tions only deepen North Korea’s diplo­matic and eco­nomic iso­la­tion,” U.S. Sec­re­tary Rex Tiller­son said in a state­ment. He re­it­er­ated a call for China and Rus­sia to take ac­tion against the rogue state, say­ing: “China sup­plies North Korea with most of its oil. Rus­sia is the largest em­ployer of North Korean forced la­bor.”

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