North Korea missile test: Russia and China urge launch freeze

North Korea missile test: Russia and China urge launch freeze

BY BBC NEWS/KORIR JUMA, 4TH JULY 2017-Russia and China have urged North Korea to “freeze” its missile and nuclear programmes after it claimed to have successfully tested its first intercontinental ballistic missile.

Both countries also called for a simultaneous suspension of US-South Korea large-scale military exercises.

Meanwhile, US officials reportedly said they believed North Korea’s claim.

But while Pyongyang appears to have made progress, experts believe the device cannot accurately hit a target.

Calling the launch “unacceptable”, Russia and China, which share a land border with North Korea, also urged the US to not deploy the Thaad missile system – which aims to intercept attacks from Pyongyang – in South Korea.

Chinese President Xi Jinping was in Moscow, where he held talks with Russian President Vladimir Putin.

What did North Korea say?

The announcement on North Korea state television said the Hwasong-14 intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) test was overseen by leader Kim Jong-un.

It said the projectile had reached an altitude of 2,802km (1,731 miles) and flew 933km for 39 minutes before hitting a target in the sea.

North Korea, it said, was now “a full-fledged nuclear power that has been possessed of the most powerful inter-continental ballistic rocket capable of hitting any part of the world”.

The launch, the latest in a series of tests, was in defiance of a ban by the UN Security Council.

But experts also believe that Pyongyang does not have the capacity to miniaturise a nuclear warhead that can fit onto such a missile.

How far could this missile travel?

The big question is what range it has, says the BBC’s Steven Evans in Seoul. Could it hit the United States?

What does this test tell us? By defence expert Melissa Hanham

Once again North Korea has defied the odds and thumbed its nose at the world in a single missile launch. With the test of the Hwasong-14, it has shown that it can likely reach intercontinental ballistic missile ranges, including putting Alaska at risk.

Kim Jong-un has long expressed his desire for such a test, and to have it on the 4 July holiday in the US is just the icing on his very large cake

Facebook Comments Box