Published: Tue, May 16, 2017
Tech | By Constance Martin

Latest North Korean Launch Involves Liquid Fuel Single-Stage Missile

38 North says USA cities aren't at risk today because the full missile system needed to reach them has yet to be tested (this includes re-entry technology needed to return a warhead back into the atmosphere from space).

North Korea has in the past year stepped up its ballistic missile tests, firing dozens of various types of rockets, according to South Korea. A Japanese military official says the missile flew for about 30 minutes and landed in the Sea of Japan.

North Korean leader Kim Jong-un hailed the launch on Sunday as a test of the "perfect weapon system" and capable of carrying "a large-size heavy nuclear warhead".

North Korea's official Rodong Sinmun newspaper devoted half of its six-page Monday edition to coverage of the missile test, with vivid color photographs of the launch and jubilant leader Kim Jong Un celebrating with military officers.

North Korean state media KCNA claimed that the apparently new Hwasong-12 missile reached an altitude of 2,111.5 kilometers (1,312 miles).

North Korea has been developing a long-range missile capable of striking the mainland United States mounted with a nuclear warhead.

Council diplomats said the language was significant because China, North Korea's strongest ally, signed on.

Last week the South elected a new president, Moon Jae-In, who advocates reconciliation with Pyongyang and said at his inauguration that he was willing "in the right circumstances" to visit the North to ease tensions.

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Outsiders express more skepticism about North Korea's nuclear warhead claims.

Russian President Vladimir Putin has condemned North Korea's latest test-firing of a ballistic missile.

"North Korea has been a flagrant menace for far too long", a statement released over the weekend said.

KCNA cited Kim as saying the North would never succumb to what it called the "highly ridiculous" United States strategy of "militarily browbeating only weak countries and nations which have no nukes".

"The members of the Security Council expressed their utmost concern over the Democratic People's Republic of Korea's highly destabilizing behavior and flagrant and provocative defiance of the Security Council by conducting these ballistic missile launches in violation of its global obligations under United Nations Security Council resolutions (...)", the Security Council said. Some analysts believe the missile, if proven in further tests, could reach Alaska and Hawaii if fired on a normal, instead of a lofted, trajectory.

North Korea, which has a history of conducting provocations in a bid to boost its leverage, has agreed in the past to suspend its nuclear program in exchange for aid and diplomatic rewards.

North Korea's ambassador to China says that Pyongyang's test-firing of a ballistic missile over the weekend is part of the country's efforts to develop ways to defend itself against hostile aggression overseas.

President Donald Trump's administration has called North Korean ballistic and nuclear efforts unacceptable, but it has swung between threats of military action and offers to talk as it formulates a policy. The USS Carl Vinson, an aircraft carrier, is also engaging with South Korean navy ships in waters off the Korean Peninsula, according to Seoul's Defense Ministry.

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