Proof Kim’s mis­sile could hit a US base

Scottish Daily Mail - - Weekender - From Tom Leonard in New York

NORTH Korea demon­strated it can hit Amer­ica’s base in Guam af­ter con­duct­ing its fur­thest-ever mis­sile flight over Ja­pan and into the Pa­cific.

The test, which sent mil­lions of Ja­panese peo­ple un­der its flight path dash­ing for shel­ter, was an act of de­fi­ance af­ter the UN Se­cu­rity Coun­cil ap­proved new sanc­tions aim­ing to force Kim Jong-un to halt his es­ca­lat­ing nu­clear and mis­sile tests.

The mis­sile – which ex­perts said was prob­a­bly an in­ter­me­di­ate range Hwa­song-12 – flew 2,300 miles east from an air­port near Py­ongyang, reach­ing an al­ti­tude of 478 miles, be­fore splash­ing down in the ocean.

The dis­tance from Py­ongyang to Guam is only 2,100 miles, US of­fi­cials noted. The pop­u­lar tourist des­ti­na­tion is the main US bomber base in the Pa­cific and would be cru­cial to any mil­i­tary strike against North Korea.

Kim has pre­vi­ously threat­ened to hit Guam, but while ex­perts said the lat­est test con­firmed his mis­siles can reach the is­land, they cau­tioned that they don’t nec­es­sar­ily have the re­quired ac­cu­racy.

US Sec­re­tary of State Rex Tiller­son called for the in­ter­na­tional com­mu­nity to take ‘new mea­sures’ against North Korea, adding that China and Rus­sia ‘must’ rein in the iso­lated coun­try through the cru­cial oil sup­plies they give it. But China an­grily coun­tered that it was ‘ir­re­spon­si­ble’ for Wash­ing­ton to blame Bei­jing when it was the US that had ratch­eted up the ten­sion.

Ja­panese prime min­is­ter Shinzo Abe said Tokyo could ‘never tol­er­ate’ what he called a ‘danger­ous provoca­tive ac­tion that threat­ens world peace’.

South Korea re­sponded to yes­ter­day’s launch by car­ry­ing out a ‘live fire drill’ that in­cluded a mis­sile launch which its mil­i­tary chiefs said was ca­pa­ble of strik­ing the air­port used for the North Korean test.

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