US, China, S Korea scramble after North Korea boasts ability to hit US

North Korean leader Kim Jong-un’s boast that all parts of the US can be hit by North Korean missiles triggered panic and military exercises on Saturday in response

Photo courtesy: PTI
Photo courtesy: PTI

NH Web Desk

In response to North Korea’s test of an intercontinental ballistic missile, the US and South Korean militaries conducted a live-fire exercise using surface-to- surface missiles.

The joint exercise, which occurred on Saturday morning, came shortly after officials said that the heads of the US and South Korean militaries had discussed “military response options” after North Korea’s launch.

The test showed North Korea’s progress in developing a missile capable of hitting the US cities such as Denver or Chicago, according to Melissa Hanham, a researcher at the James Martin Center for Nonproliferation Studies in California. Initial data suggested that if such a projectile were launched toward the US, it could travel about 10,000 kilometers (6,200 miles).

The ICBM test raises tensions between the world’s major powers, with the US accusing China and Russia of providing Kim cover to pursue his nuclear ambitions. Trump has previously expressed frustration at the pace of China’s efforts to rein in its neighbour and ally, which it supports with food and fuel sales, reported Bloomberg.

On Friday, the supreme leader of the Democratic People's Republic of North Korea, Kim Jong-un issued a challenge to President Donald Trump by conducting a second intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) test. According to experts, the missiles could potentially hit the entire United States. The missile launch was meant as a “stern warning” for the United States.

The test was ordered by Kim Jong Un, who said his country’s weapons programme was an “invaluable asset” and demonstrated a “surprise attack capability.” The ICBM can fly for 47 minutes and 12 seconds while reaching a maximum altitude of 3,724.9km.

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe confirmed the report. Before splashing into the Sea of Japan, the missile which was launched from Mupyong-ni, remained airborne for more than 40 minutes, flying 1,000 kilometres due east. The governments in Seoul and Tokyo called meetings of their national security councils. Japan has condemned North Korea missile test.

“We can absolutely not accept North Korea’s repeated provocations, we have strongly protested North Korea in the strongest possible language”, said Chief Cabinet Secretary, Japan.

President Donald Trump condemned North Korea's launch of an intercontinental ballistic missile. He said, “Threatening the world, these weapons and tests further isolate North Korea, weaken its economy, and deprive its people. The United States will take all necessary steps to ensure the security of the American homeland and protect our allies in the region.”

However, China condemned North Korea’s launch of (ICBM) and said, “China opposes North Korea’s violations of UN Security Council resolutions and (its actions) contrary to the general aspirations of the international community.”

Earlier on July 3, North Korean leader Kim Jong-un carried out an intercontinental ballistic missile test, saying it was a “gift” to “American bastards” on their Independence Day.

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