North Korea leader Kim guides test of new anti-aircraft weapon

Cheryl Sanders
May 28, 2017

Officials say the goal is to more closely simulate a North Korean ICBM aimed at the U.S.The American interceptor has a spotty track record, succeeding in nine of 17 attempts against missiles of less-than-intercontinental range since 1999.

In this image made from video of a news bulletin aired by North Korea's KRT on Monday, May 22, 2017, North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, center, watches the test launch of what was said to be the Pukguksong-2 missile at an undisclosed location in North Korea. The system has evolved from the multibillion-dollar effort triggered by President Ronald Reagan's 1983 push for a "Star Wars" solution to ballistic missile threats during the Cold War - when the Soviet Union was the only major worry.

The incident took place after South Korea fired warning shots at the border on Tuesday at an unidentified object flying from North Korea to South Korea's Kangwon province, which it later identified as a propaganda balloon in support of the Kim Jong-Un regime.

China's United Nations ambassador said Tuesday that multiple North Korean nuclear and ballistic missile tests, with no end in sight, show the "very strong" need for new talks with Pyongyang to reduce tensions and try to achieve denuclearization.

The Group of Seven member countries on Saturday said North Korea poses an increasing threat to the peace and stability of the worldwide community, according to news reports.

"If the discussion is successful, a visit to North Korea would be possible around June 10", Kang said.

"Some defects in the weapon system, discovered past year, were perfectly overcome to stand the test", Kim was quoted as saying in English by the KCNA. "There's some sense China is working to stop something worse from happening", she said, while adding that "they clearly have to do more". There are now 32 interceptors housed in silos at Fort Greely in Alaska and four at Vandenberg, in California.

In its 2018 budget presented to Congress this week, the Pentagon proposed spending $7.9 billion on missile defense, including $1.5 billion for the ground-based midcourse defense program.

The Trump administration has said there should be no talks until North Korea takes steps toward getting rid of its nuclear arsenal.

At the G7 summit in Sicily, Donald Trump and Japan's Shinzo Abe announced that they have pledged to work together to enhance sanctions on North Korea for its continued nuclear programme. Some experts argue the current strategy for shooting down ICBM-range missiles, focused on the silo-based interceptors, is overly expensive and inadequate.

Other reports by iNewsToday