President Xi expressed hope that South Korea would pay “attention to China’s security concerns” and deal “appropriately” with the THAAD anti-ballistic missile system issue.
Aside from space launches, Jeffrey Lewis of the Middlebury Institute of International Studies in the USA told AFP: “This is the longest range missile North Korea has ever tested”.
The missile would have flown a distance of some 4500 kilometers [2796 miles] if launched on a maximum trajectory.
But experts have long believed that manufacturing a compact warhead for a long-range missile capable of striking the United States is one of the last remaining technologies North Korea has yet to master. This was the stuff of nightmares during the Cold War, when the Soviet Union possessed thousands of such missiles. That suggests a range of up to 2,500 miles if it is fired more horizontally, Western experts said. One outcome of a North Korean government collapse would be a flood of refugees pouring into China and the South, creating an expensive humanitarian nightmare for Beijing and Seoul. In his article, Schilling providing some answers. The ballistic missile launch comes after the North Korean dictator promised more nuclear and missile tests and claimed the United States mainland was within “sighting range for strike”.
The test follows weeks of escalating pressure in the region as U.S. president Donald Trump warned a “major conflict” could break out with North Korea as he admitted solving the issue diplomatically could prove “very difficult”.
Pyongyang’s propaganda must be considered with caution, but if confirmed, the claim marks another big step forward in the country’s escalating efforts to field a nuclear-tipped missile capable of reaching the U.S. mainland. Quite likely this was the missile that was reported in January. If launched at a normal trajectory, it could’ve reached USA military bases in Guam.
What would change the strategic balance, notes Schilling, is an ICBM capable of reaching the USA mainland.
Trump has threatened military action but recently appeared to have softened his stance, saying he would be “honoured” to meet leader Kim Jong-Un under the right conditions.
The North test-fired 10 ballistic missiles this year alone.
But he warned that “with a regional nuclear deterrence, they might feel they are secure enough and do not really need a direct nuclear deterrence against the homeland of the U.S”.
“It could be them partially testing what eventually will be an ICBM”, says David Schmerler, a research associate at the James Martin Center for Nonproliferation Studies at the Middlebury Institute of International Studies in Monterey, Calif.
Graham said details about Sunday’s missile “point to a new threshold of capability potentially crossed”, adding that engineers “may well be able to draw warhead re-entry data from that which is applicable to their ICBM ambitions”.
North Korea says it has no choice but to advance its nuclear and missile development to defend itself from attack.
“There is enormous pressure when a missile re-enters the atmosphere”.
Russian Federation has shown concern about Pyongyang’s missiles, but it may also see North Korea as an opportunity to gain leverage with the West, the United States in particular, according to CNN Moscow Bureau Chief Matthew Chance. South Korea’s military also played down the North’s claim of technical progress on atmospheric re-entry.
That signaled a new phase in applying sanctions that curb exports of coal from North Korea, impose severe restrictions on banking and ban sales of luxury goods and equipment that could be of use to the military.