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People watch a TV broadcast of a news report on North Korea’s ballistic missile test, at a railway station  in Seoul, South Korea, July 4.
People watch a TV broadcast of a news report on North Korea’s ballistic missile test, at a railway station  in Seoul, South Korea, July 4.

N. Korea’s Ballistic Missile Test Raises New Concerns

The launch came days before leaders from the Group of 20 nations were due to discuss steps to rein in North Korea’s weapons program, which it has pursued in defiance of UN Security Council sanctions

N. Korea’s Ballistic Missile Test Raises New Concerns

North Korea said on Tuesday it successfully test-launched an intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) for the first time, which flew a trajectory that experts said could allow a weapon to hit the US state of Alaska.
The launch came days before leaders from the Group of 20 nations were due to discuss steps to rein in North Korea’s weapons program, which it has pursued in defiance of UN Security Council sanctions, Reuters reported.
Officials from South Korea, Japan and the United States said the missile landed in the sea in Japan’s Exclusive Economic Zone after being launched on a high trajectory from near an airfield northwest of the North’s capital, Pyongyang.
“The test launch was conducted at the sharpest angle possible and did not have any negative effect on neighboring countries,” North Korea’s state media said in a statement.
The North said its missiles were now capable of striking anywhere in the world.
“It appears the test was successful. If launched on a standard angle, the missile could have a range of more than 8,000 km,” said Kim Dong-yub, a military expert at Kyungnam University’s Institute of Far Eastern Studies in Seoul.

  Heavy Move
US President Donald Trump wrote on Twitter: “Hard to believe South Korea and Japan will put up with this much longer. Perhaps China will put a heavy move on North Korea and end this nonsense once and for all!”
Japan’s Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said he would ask the presidents of China and Russia to play more constructive roles in efforts to stop Pyongyang’s arms program.
“Leaders of the world will gather at the G20 meeting. I would like to strongly call for solidarity of the international community on the North Korean issue,” Abe told reporters.
Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Geng Shuang called for calm and restraint, and reiterated China’s opposition to North Korea’s violation of UN resolutions on missile tests.
Responding to Trump’s tweet, Geng said China had for a long time been working hard to resolve the North Korean nuclear issue.
“China’s contribution is obvious to all. China’s role is indispensable,” he told a daily news briefing.
China would continue to work hard and also hoped other parties would work hard too, Geng said.
“We hope all sides can meet each other half way.”
Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov on Tuesday called North Korea’s latest test launch of a ballistic missile a breach of a UN Security Council resolution, the RIA news agency reported.
It also cited Ryabkov as saying that tensions with Pyongyang risked leading to catastrophic developments and that the missile launch showed that the only way forward was to organize multilateral talks with North Korea.

  Last Chance for Talks
South Korea’s Moon said on Monday North Korea now faced its “last opportunity” to engage in talks with the outside world.
North Korea has conducted four ballistic missile tests since Moon took office in May, vowing to use dialogue as well as pressure to bring Pyongyang’s nuclear and missile programs under control.

 

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