North Korea: New long-range missile can carry heavy nuke

Russian President Vladimir Putin weighed in Monday morning, calling the test "counterproductive" and "dangerous", but he also suggested the USA and it's regional allies could bear some of the blame, saying "we must stop intimidating North Korea".

Over the weekend, Spicer issued a statement saying North Korea's test missile hit close to Russian Federation, and that "the president can not imagine that Russian Federation is pleased".

North Korea, as with [U.S. President Barack] Obama in 2009, showed they will act no differently with a liberal progressive than they did with his conservative predecessor [President George W. Bush].

Ji also repeated an assertion by North Korean officials that Pyongyang has successfully foiled a CIA-backed plot to kill leader Kim Jong Un last month with a biochemical poison. And it also lifts scientists in the authoritarian nation who are working to build an arsenal of missiles with nuclear warheads that can reach the USA mainland.

State media paraphrased North Korea's leader as saying that "the most ideal weapon systems in the world will never become the eternal exclusive property of the USA", warning that "the US should not. disregard or misjudge the reality that its mainland and Pacific operation region are in (North Korea's) sighting range for strike".

"Let this latest provocation serve as a call for all nations to implement far stronger sanctions against North Korea", said the statement from White House press secretary Sean Spicer.

North Korea on Sunday launched what it said was a new type of "medium long-range" ballistic rocket that can carry a heavy nuclear warhead. Independent journalists were not given access to cover the event depicted in this photo.

North Korea says Sunday's launch was of a new type of "medium long-range" ballistic rocket that can carry a heavy nuclear warhead.

It flew for 30 minutes - longer than any previous North Korean test. Dictator Kim Jong Un personally oversaw the launch and, according to state media, warned that US territories were within reach and that the North was capable of a retaliatory strike.

The U.N. Security Council is strongly condemning North Korea's latest ballistic missile test and vowing to impose new sanctions in response to its "flagrant and provocative defiance" of council demands to halt all nuclear-related tests.

That suggests a range of 4,500km or more if flown for maximum distance, analysts said.

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"This is a very uncomfortable development for the United States", said Lee Illwoo, a Seoul-based commentator on military issues.

After North Korea tested its missile on Sunday, analysts estimated it had a reach of about 4,500 miles, which would put Japan and Guam within its reach, but the missile could not reach mainland United States. An envoy from North Korea attended a recent Belt and Road forum - nearly literally rubbing shoulders with a USA trade representative. During a 2016 test, the Musudan reached a height of 1,410 kilometers (880 miles).

"North Korea's latest successful missile test represents a level of performance never before seen from a North Korean missile", aerospace engineer John Schilling wrote on the blog 38 North, published by the US Korea Institute at Johns Hopkins University.

As for China, it's taken a tougher stance on North Korea lately but is now more focused on its massive Belt And Road investment in global trading infrastructure. "North Korea responded to Moon Jae-in's outstretched hand with a ballasted missile test", Ruggiero told The Daily Signal Monday.

As with much of North Korea's secretive arms program, this couldn't be independently confirmed.

When it comes to North Korea's rapidly accelerating nuclear missile program, the US would like other countries to step up to the plate more.

Some experts say the missile's claimed ability to carry heavy warheads would allow North Korea to deploy larger bombs or multiple warheads potentially capable of striking different targets.

There's also skepticism about North Korea's claims about its re-entry technology, which is needed to return a warhead to the atmosphere from space so it can hit its intended target.

Despite North Korea's claim that Sunday's test simulated a re-entry situation, South Korean defense officials say the North probably has yet to master the technology.

"Concern was expressed about the escalation of tension, including in connection with the launch (of the missile of the DPRK)", Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov was quoted as saying in Russian state media.

Another important point: One test, even a successful one, does not completely prove a missile's capabilities.

  • Megan Austin