Kim calls for more mis­sile launches into the Pa­cific

Hawaii Tribune Herald - - NEWS -

SEOUL, South Korea (AP) — North Korea’s state me­dia says leader Kim Jong Un is calling for more bal­lis­tic mis­sile launches into the Pa­cific a day after the coun­try flew a mis­sile de­signed to carry a nu­clear pay­load over Ja­pan.

The Korean Cen­tral News Agency said Kim ex­pressed great sat­is­fac­tion with the launch, calling it a “mean­ing­ful pre­lude” to con­tain­ing Guam, the U.S. Pa­cific ter­ri­tory and mil­i­tary hub.

The agency says Kim said the coun­try needs to con­duct more bal­lis­tic mis­sile tests to the Pa­cific to ad­vance the ca­pa­bil­i­ties of its strate­gic force.

The agency says the mis­sile the North fired was the Hwa­song-12 in­ter­me­di­ate range mis­sile it re­cently threat­ened to fire to­ward Guam.

North Korea said Kim was present this week when it fired for the first time a bal­lis­tic mis­sile de­signed to carry a nu­clear pay­load that flew over Ja­pan and splashed into the north­ern Pa­cific Ocean.

Pres­i­dent Don­ald Trump of­fered a sur­pris­ingly sub­dued re­sponse Tues­day, pulling back from his ad­min­is­tra­tion’s re­cent sug­ges­tions of a di­a­logue with the com­mu­nist coun­try but also avoid­ing a re­peat of his bom­bas­tic warn­ings of a po­ten­tial mil­i­tary con­fronta­tion.

In­stead, Trump’s terse, writ­ten state­ment re­it­er­at­ing that all U.S. op­tions are be­ing con­sid­ered pointed to an ad­min­is­tra­tion cau­tiously search­ing for an ef­fec­tive pol­icy, even as the North’s test risked en­dan­ger­ing Ja­panese civil­ians. Wash­ing­ton and its al­lies called an emer­gency U.N. Se­cu­rity Council meet­ing for later Tues­day.

“Threat­en­ing and desta­bi­liz­ing ac­tions only in­crease the North Korean regime’s iso­la­tion in the re­gion and among all na­tions of the world,” Trump said after the North’s mis­sile soared al­most 1,700 miles into the Pa­cific, trig­ger­ing alert warn­ings in north­ern Ja­pan and shud­ders through­out North­east Asia. “All op­tions are on the table.”

This week’s ag­gres­sive mis­sile launch — likely the long­est ever from North Korea — over the ter­ri­tory of a close U.S. ally sends a clear mes­sage of de­fi­ance as Wash­ing­ton and Seoul con­duct war games nearby.

The North first suc­cess­fully tested the Hwa­song-12 in­ter­me­di­ate range mis­sile in May and threat­ened to fire into wa­ters near Guam ear­lier this month.

South Korea’s Joint Chiefs of Staff said the mis­sile trav­eled about 1,677 miles and reached a max­i­mum height of 341 miles as it flew over the north­ern Ja­panese is­land of Hokkaido.

As­so­ci­ated Press

Peo­ple on Tues­day in Tokyo walk by a TV news pro­gram re­port­ing North Korea’s lat­est mis­sile launch.



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