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North Korea launches ballistic missile towards Sea of Japan: Seoul

4 July 2017 13:05


North Korea says it has successfully test-fired an intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM), which is capable of hitting anywhere in the world.

The North’s state announced Tuesday that the “landmark” test was conducted under the supervision of leader Kim Jong-un.

The Hwasong-14 ballistic missile reached an altitude of 2,802 kilometers (1,741 miles) and hit its target precisely after flying for 39 minutes, the report said.

The announcement seems to be in contradiction with earlier reports of the test by the US and South Korea, who said an intermediate-range missile had been launched.

Earlier, South Korea’s Joint Chiefs of Staff said “North Korea fired an unidentified ballistic missile into the East Sea from the vicinity of Banghyon, North Pyongan province, at around 9:40 a.m.,”

The latest test comes just hours after US President Donald Trump and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe agreed to exert added pressure on North Korea over its missile and nuclear development programs.

US President Donald Trump (R) takes part in a bilateral meeting with Japan’s Prime Minister Shinzo Abe at the Villa Diodoro on the sidelines of the Summit of the Heads of State and of Government of the G7, the group of most industrialized economies, plus the European Union, on May 26, 2017 in Taormina, Sicily. 

Trump and Abe also agreed to hold trilateral talks on the subject of Pyongyang’s nuclear activities with South Korean President Moon Jae-in on the sidelines of the Group of 20 summit, which begins Friday in Germany.

On June 3, the United Nations Security Council imposed a fresh array of sanctions on North Korea in response to a number of missile tests carried out by Pyongyang this year.

Unsettled by North Korean missile and nuclear programs, the US has adopted a war-like posture, sending a strike group and conducting joint military drills with North Korea’s regional adversaries Japan and South Korea.

The US also recently deployed an advanced missile system on South Korean soil to counter potential threats from the North, angering Pyongyang.

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