N Korea tar­gets Guam


The Citizen (KZN) - - WORLD -

Se­cu­rity Coun­cil calls emer­gency meet­ing af­ter Pa­cific blast.

North Korea fired a bal­lis­tic mis­sile over Ja­pan and into the Pa­cific yes­ter­day, re­spond­ing to new United Na­tions (UN) sanc­tions with its fur­thest-ever mis­sile flight in what an­a­lysts called a demon­stra­tion of its abil­ity to tar­get Guam.

The launch, from near Py­ongyang, came af­ter the UN 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.

The US Pa­cific Com­mand con­firmed the rocket was an in­ter­me­di­ate range bal­lis­tic mis­sile 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 3 700km and reached a max­i­mum al­ti­tude of 770km. It was “the fur­thest over­ground any of their bal­lis­tic mis­siles has ever trav­elled”, Joseph Dempsey of the In­ter­na­tional In­sti­tute for Strate­gic Stud­ies said. Physi­cist David Wright, of the Union of Con­cerned Sci­en­tists, said North Korea demon­strated 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, who is closely as­so­ci­ated with the pro­gramme and reg­u­larly pic­tured by state me­dia over­see­ing launches and vis­it­ing fa­cil­i­ties.

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