Sci-tech

U.S. assesses N. Korea missile was not ICBM

U.S. assesses N. Korea missile was not ICBM

South Korea's Joint Chiefs of Staff said in a statement that the missile was sacked from around Banghyon, North Pyongan Province, which is where South Korean officials have said the North test-launched its powerful midrange Musudan missile on October 15 and 20.

This is the first missile test conducted by the North Koren regime since the Trump administration took the reins of the U.S. government.

Japan regularly expresses concern about North Korea's nuclear and ballistic weapons ambitions, and the latest launch is set to be an early test of Washington-Tokyo co-operation.

The South's Joint Chiefs of Staff said in a statement that the projectile was sacked early on Sunday from an area in the country's western region around Banghyon, North Pyongan Province, which is where South Korean officials have said the country test launched its powerful midrange missile Musudan last October.

A joint statement released by the two leaders on Friday urged North Korea to "abandon its nuclear and ballistic missile programs and not to take any further provocative actions".

The launch comes as U.S. President Donald Trump met with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe in Florida.

Both South Korean and American officials are closely monitoring the situation, while President Trump has also been briefed about the test.


"Seoul and Washington are conducting a joint analysis on additional information to determine if the missile is a modified Musudan missile or the shorter range Rodong missile", JCS said. Since January, the USA and other nations (including South Korea) have been monitoring the military activity going on in North Korea via satellite imagery.

President Trump responded by saying on Twitter that a North Korean ICBM capability "won't happen", meaning Sunday's test will likely now pose a direct challenge to the White House.

North Korea is barred under United Nations resolutions from any use of ballistic missile technology but six sets of United Nations sanctions since Pyongyang´s first nuclear test in 2006 have failed to halt its drive for what it insists are defensive weapons.

The launch came on the heels of a visit to Seoul by new US Defense Secretary James Mattis last week, who had warned Pyongyang that any nuclear attack would be met with an "effective and overwhelming" response. Following the launch of a satellite on February 7, 2015, that was preceded by the country's fourth nuclear test on January 6, the UNSC adopted Resolution 2270.

Pyongyang's lack of serious missile test in November, December, and January suggested that it may have been waiting for the Trump administration to enter office and possibly revisit the Obama administration's North Korea policy.

While Sunday's launch only traveled 500km, one analyst said it was still possible the North may be testing a Musudan.


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