N Korea ‘threat­en­ing world peace’

The Southland Times - - WORLD -

SOUTH KOREA: North Korea fired a mis­sile that flew over Ja­pan’s north­ern is­land of Hokkaido far out into the Pa­cific Ocean yes­ter­day, fur­ther ratch­et­ing up ten­sions af­ter Py­ongyang’s re­cent test of its most pow­er­ful nu­clear bomb.

The mis­sile flew over Ja­pan and landed in the Pa­cific about 2000km east of Hokkaido, Ja­pan’s Chief Cab­i­net Sec­re­tary Yoshi­hide Suga said.

Warn­ing an­nounce­ments about the mis­sile blared in the town of Ka­maishi in north­ern Ja­pan, footage from na­tional broad­caster NHK showed.

The mis­sile reached an al­ti­tude of about 770km and flew for about 19 min­utes over a dis­tance of about 3700km, ac­cord­ing to South Korea’s mil­i­tary - far enough to reach the United States Pa­cific ter­ri­tory of Guam.

The US mil­i­tary said soon af­ter­wards that it had de­tected a sin­gle in­ter­me­di­ate-range bal­lis­tic mis­sile, but it did not pose a threat to North Amer­ica or Guam, to­wards which Py­ongyang had pre­vi­ously threat­ened to launch a mis­sile.

US Sec­re­tary of State Rex Tiller­son called for ‘‘new mea­sures’’ against North Korea and that ‘‘th­ese con­tin­ued provo­ca­tions only deepen North Korea’s diplo­matic and eco­nomic iso­la­tion’’.

South Korean Pres­i­dent Moon Jae-in said di­a­logue with the North was im­pos­si­ble at this point. He had or­dered of­fi­cials to an­a­lyse and pre­pare for new pos­si­ble North Korean threats, in­clud­ing elec­tro­mag­netic pulse and bio­chem­i­cal at­tacks, a spokesman said.

The United Na­tions Se­cu­rity Coun­cil was to meet to­day at the re­quest of the US and Ja­pan, diplo­mats said, just days af­ter it unan­i­mously stepped up sanc­tions against North Korea over its Septem­ber 3 nu­clear test. Those sanc­tions im­posed a ban on the coun­try’s tex­tile ex­ports and capped im­ports of crude oil.

‘‘The in­ter­na­tional com­mu­nity needs to come to­gether and send a clear mes­sage to North Korea that it is threat­en­ing world peace with its ac­tions,’’ Ja­panese Prime Min­is­ter Shinzo Abe said. He de­scribed the launch as ‘‘un­ac­cept­able’’.

North Korea has launched dozens of mis­siles un­der young leader Kim Jong-un as it ac­cel­er­ates a weapons pro­gramme de­signed to give it the abil­ity to tar­get the US with a pow­er­ful, nu­clear-tipped mis­sile.

Last month, North Korea fired a mis­sile from a sim­i­lar area near the cap­i­tal, Py­ongyang, that also flew over Hokkaido into the ocean. Two tests in July were of lon­grange in­ter­con­ti­nen­tal bal­lis­tic mis­siles ca­pa­ble of reach­ing at least parts of the US main­land.

The North’s launch came a day af­ter Py­ongyang threat­ened to sink Ja­pan and re­duce the US to ‘‘ashes and dark­ness’’ for sup­port­ing the new UN sanc­tions against it for the Septem­ber 3 nu­clear test, its sixth and most pow­er­ful by far.

The US gen­eral who over­sees Amer­ica’s nu­clear forces said yes­ter­day he was mak­ing the as­sump­tion that the test was in fact a hy­dro­gen bomb, as Py­ongyang had claimed, based on the size of the blast.

US Pres­i­dent Don­ald Trump has asked China to do more to rein in its neigh­bour. China in turn favours an in­ter­na­tional re­sponse to the prob­lem. - Reuters

PHOTO: REUTERS

A Ja­panese news re­port shows the tra­jec­tory of a North Korean in­ter­me­di­at­erange mis­sile over the is­land of Hokkaido into the Pa­cific Ocean.

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