North Korea 'ready to deploy and mass-produce new missile'

Cheryl Sanders
May 24, 2017

South Korea's military downplayed this assertion, saying the missile's flight range was projected to be less than 4,500 kilometers, not long enough to hit the United States mainland but able to target U.S. military bases in Guam, about 3,400 kilometers away from the North.

Although the United States did commit atrocities against North Koreans during the Korean war, that doesn't grant them the legitimacy to develop nuclear weapons, said Sun.

The South's Joint Chiefs of Staff said it could not yet identify the type of missile fired from Pukchang in South Pyongan province but it travelled about 500 km (311 miles).

"There was a basic exchange of opinions about North Korea's nuclear and missile provocations", Yoon said about the meeting between Chung and Pottinger.

A man walks past a television showing a news report on North Korea's latest missile test of a Pukguksong-2, at a railway station in Seoul on May 22, 2017.

KCNA said the test was meant to verify technical indexes of the weapon system and examine its adaptability under various battle conditions before deployment to military units.

KCNA quoted Kim as saying the Pukguksong-2 met all the required technical specifications and should now be mass-produced and deployed to the Korean People's Army strategic battle unit.

The February launch was the North's first missile test after President Donald Trump took office.

South Korean forces fired warning shots at the unidentified objects Tuesday after they were spotted flying from North Korea across the Demilitarized Zone that divides the two countries.

"We urge North Korea to not do anything to again violate U.N. Security Council resolutions", Foreign Minister Wang Yi said in a statement posted on the Foreign Ministry's website on Tuesday. The country has also conducted a slew of rocket launches as it continues to advance its arsenal of ballistic weapons, which also include midrange solid-fuel missiles that could be fired from mobile land launchers or submarines.

U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said Sunday it was too early to know if the worldwide pressures being exerted on North Korea to discourage its weapons programs were having an impact. Its two nuclear tests past year may have improved its ability to make nuclear weapons small enough to fit on long-range missiles.

"Security Council has clear stipulations prohibiting DPRK against using ballistic missiles and China opposes this as well", foreign ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying told a regular press briefing, using the initials of North Korea's official name.

If the US did drop its perfectly legal military exercises to please the Kim regime, then "what if tomorrow North Korea says we don't like South Korea's political system, or we don't like the Republic of Korea-US military alliance?" asked Sun.

Analysts say solid fuel engines and mobile launchers make it more hard to detect signs of launch preparations.

Analysts said that at 4,500 kilometers the Hwasong-12 had a longer range than any previous ballistic missile launched by the North, putting United States bases on the Pacific island of Guam within reach―and that it could serve as a platform to develop a long-range ICBM.

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