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North Korea Celebrates Test Of New, Long-Range Missile

North Korea Celebrates Test Of New, Long-Range Missile

North Korea Celebrates Test Of New, Long-Range Missile

North Korea's long-term bid to develop a credible nuclear attack threat to the U.S. mainland saw it launch Sunday what appeared to be its longest-range missile yet. Spokesman Moon Sang Gyun said it is still unlikely that North Korea has re-entry technology, which would return a warhead safely back into the atmosphere.

Tensions on the Korean Peninsula have heightened in recent weeks due to Pyongyang's nuclear programme and missile tests and threats from Trump that the USA could take unilateral action against it in retaliation.

The claim, if true, could mark an advancement in the North's ICBM program exceeding most expectations, said Kim Dong-yub, a professor at Kyungnam University's Institute of Far Eastern Studies in Seoul. She told ABC's "This Week" that Kim is "in a state of paranoia". "Clearly, there is a lot more leverage that China has, and we would like China to use", he said. So our options are there.

Speaking Monday in Tokyo, Japanese Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga noted that along with the US and South Korea, Japan was going to push this week at the United Nations for greater unity, including efforts to extend "diplomatic cooperation with China and Russian Federation and other countries that have a strong influence" over the North.

Amid condemnation in Seoul, Tokyo and Washington, a jubilant North Korean leader Kim Jong Un promised more nuclear and missile tests and warned his country's weapons could strike the USA mainland and Pacific holdings.

The missile was launched on an unusually high trajectory, before splashing down in the Sea of Japan (East Sea). That suggests a range of 4500km or more, analysts said.

With a range somewhere between the unreliable Musudan IRBM tested eight times a year ago with only one success and the yet-to-be-tested ICBM, the Hwasong-12 may be the longest range missile North Korea has tested to date.

KCNA said Kim accused the United States of "browbeating" countries that "have no nukes", warning Washington not to misjudge the reality that its mainland is in the North's "sighting range for strike".

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That is a slap in the face for South Korea's new president, Moon Jae-in, who has promised greater engagement with the North, and suggests that the missile launch was an attempt to improve Pyongyang's negotiating position with a more hardline USA under President Donald Trump.

It was claimed that the missile is capable of carrying a "heavy nuclear warhead".

KCNA cited Kim as saying the North would never succumb to the " ridiculous" U.S. strategy of "brow-beating only weak countries which have no nukes.

Ju Yong Choi said US' criticism of it was a "wanton violation of the sovereignty and dignity of the DPRK [Democratic People's Republic of Korea]". But further analysis showed it was a new type of missile, given the designator KN-17, with a possible short range or medium range given that it was a single-stage rocket.

The U.S. said it aims to pressure North Korea into dismantling its nuclear and missile programs through sanctions while remaining open to dialogue.

Asked if North Korea's missile programme was developing faster than the South had expected, Mr Han said: "Yes".

In the first clues of the origin of the massive ransomware attacks, Google researcher Neel Mehta posted computer code that showed similarities between the "WannaCry" malware and a vast hacking effort widely attributed to Pyongyang.

"North Korea has been a flagrant menace for far too long", a statement released over the weekend said.

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