North Korea fires its highest-flying ICBM to date, toward Japan’s coast

Posted noviembre 28, 2017 11:16 pm by


North Korea missile
A
missile launching during a drill in this undated photo released
by North Korea’s Korean Central News Agency on August
30.

KCNA via
Reuters


  • North Korea has fired its highest-flying
    intercontinental ballistic missile toward Japan’s
    coast.
  • The launch came amid rumors that North Korea would
    conduct a missile test “within days.”
  • A few minutes after South Korea detected the launch, it
    staged a “precision strike” missile exercise, Yonhap News
    reported.

North Korea has fired an intercontinental
ballistic missile
that initial estimates show could be the
highest altitude reached by the country’s missile program.

The ICBM, launched at about 3 a.m. Wednesday local time, flew east from South Pyongan
Province
, South Korea’s Joint Chiefs of Staff said in a
Yonhap News report.

“North Korea launched an unidentified ballistic missile into the
East Sea from the vicinity of Pyongsong, South Pyongan Province,
at around 3:17 a.m. today,” the Joint Chiefs said.

A Pentagon official said in a statement that the missile traveled
about 1,000 kilometers, or over 620 miles, and landed in the Sea
of Japan, within Japan’s exclusive economic zone.

“The North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD) determined
the missile launch from North Korea did not pose a threat to
North America, our territories or our allies,” Col. Robert
Manning said. “Our commitment to the defense of our allies,
including the Republic of Korea and Japan, in the face of these
threats, remains ironclad. We remain prepared to defend ourselves
and our allies from any attack or provocation.”


North Korea missile
North
Koreans watch a news report showing North Korea’s Hwasong-12
intermediate-range ballistic missile launch on an electronic
screen at Pyongyang station in Pyongyang, North
Korea.

Kyodo/via
Reuters


The missile reached an altitude of about 2,800 miles,
US officials told ABC News. If initial estimates are confirmed,
that will be the highest altitude reached by a North Korean
missile.

Homeland Security officials in Guam, a US territory that North
Korea has previously threatened, issued
a statement on Facebook saying there
was “no immediate threat to Guam or the Marianas.”

A few minutes after South Korean forces detected the launch, they
staged a “precision strike”
missile exercise
, the Joint Chiefs told Yonhap News.

President Donald Trump gave a short statement on the missile
during a press conference Tuesday: “I will only tell you that we
will take care of it,” Trump said. “We’ve had a long discussion
on it.”

“We will take care of that situation,” Trump continued. “Nothing
changed, we have a very serious approach. We take it very
seriously.”

Defense Secretary James Mattis also confirmed initial reports
that the latest missile made a breakthrough in terms of North
Korea’s capabilities: “[The] missile went higher, frankly,
than any previous shot they’ve taken,” Mattis said. “It’s a
research and development effort on their part.”

“The bottom line is that its a continued effort to build a
ballistic missile threat that endangers world peace, regional
peace, and certainly the United States,” Mattis continued.


Trump South Korea Moon
US
President Donald Trump and South Korean President Moon
Jae-in.

REUTERS/Jonathan
Ernst


During a visit to South Korea earlier in November as part of his
tour of Asia, Trump proposed making “a deal” with
North Korea.

“I really believe that it makes sense for North Korea to come to
the table and to make a deal that’s good for the people of North
Korea and the people of the world,” Trump said. “I do see certain
movement, yes. But let’s see what happens.”

After his trip, Trump designated North Korea a state sponsor of terrorism,
allowing the US to impose additional sanctions against the
country.

Reuters reported earlier Tuesday that US government experts had
seen indications that
North Korea would conduct a missile test
“within days.”

A Japanese government official said the country had detected
radio signals indicating North Korea may be preparing for another
ballistic missile launch, according to Reuters. The signals,
however, were reportedly inconclusive — satellite images did not
show new activity, and North Korea has in the past deliberately
sent misleading signals of an imminent launch.

North Korea’s previous missile test, in
mid-September, raised alarms after it flew over Hokkaido, in
northern Japan. That missile, fired at about 7 a.m. local time,
initiated emergency alerts in Japan. Japan did not attempt to
shoot down the missile, according to NHK, the country’s public
broadcast outlet.

Before that test, North Korea conducted a series of launches, at one point
averaging about one every two weeks.

This is a developing story. Check back for updates.