By Associated Press,
PYONGYANG, North Korea — The Latest on North Korea’s launch of its second intercontinental ballistic missile (all times local):
U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson says Washington will never accept a nuclear-armed North Korea, and calls on China and Russia to do more to curb the growing threat to regional and global stability posed by Pyongyang’s missiles.
Hours after North Korea’s second test-launch of an intercontinental ballistic missile that’s capable of reaching the U.S. mainland, Tillerson said in a statement the firing is a blatant violation of multiple United Nations Security Council resolutions that reflect the will of the international community.
He says: “All nations should take a strong public stance against North Korea by maintaining and strengthening U.N. sanctions to ensure North Korea will face consequences for its relentless pursuit of nuclear weapons and the means to deliver them.”
Tillerson also says Russia and China are “the principal economic enablers of North Korea’s nuclear weapon and ballistic missile development program” and bear “unique and special responsibility for this growing threat to regional and global stability.”
He says the U.S. seeks the peaceful denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula and the end to belligerent actions by North Korea.
He says Washington “will never accept a nuclear-armed North Korea nor abandon our commitment to our allies and partners in the region.”
South Korea says it will deploy strategic U.S. military assets to the Korean Peninsula and consider placing additional launchers of an advanced U.S. anti-missile system on its soil following North Korea’s second test-launch of an intercontinental ballistic missile.
The latest measures were announced by South Korean Defense Minister Song Young-moo on Saturday, hours after the launch left analysts concluding that the mainland U.S. was now within range of North Korean weapons.
Song told reporters in Seoul he will discuss with U.S. military commanders in South Korea temporarily placing additional THAAD launchers. There are currently two THAAD launchers operational in the South and one THAAD battery consists of six.
Song did not specify what the strategic assets are, but they usually refer to U.S. stealth bombers and aircraft carriers.
Immediately after the launch late Friday evening, U.S. and South Korean forces conducted a live-fire exercise Saturday morning during which they fired missiles off South Korea’s east coast.
The drill involved the surface-to-surface Army Tactical Missile System and South Korea’s Hyunmoo Missile II.
North Korea says leader Kim Jong Un observed the country’s second flight test of an intercontinental ballistic missile and said that the launch demonstrated an ability to conduct a surprise attack on the U.S. mainland.
Pyongyang’s official Korean Central News Agency said Saturday that Kim expressed “great satisfaction” after the Hwasong-14 missile reached a maximum height of 3,725 kilometers (2,314 miles) and traveled 998 kilometers (620 miles) from the launch point before landing in waters near Japan.
The North Korean flight data was similar to the assessments by South Korea, Japan and the United States.
Analysts say the data suggests that a wide swath of the U.S., including Los Angeles and Chicago, is now within range of Pyongyang’s weapons.
North Korea first test-launched the Hwasong-14 on July 4.
President Donald Trump is condemning North Korea’s test of its second intercontinental ballistic missile as a threat to the world.
Trump says these tests further isolate North Korea, weaken its economy and deprive its people. Trump says the U.S. will take all “necessary steps” to protect the homeland and well as U.S. allies in the region, including Japan and South Korea.
Officials say the missile that North Korea test-fired on Friday flew longer and higher than the first one.
Trump says North Korea’s actions are “reckless and dangerous.”
U.S. and South Korean forces have conducted joint live-fire exercises in response to North Korea’s 2nd launch of an intercontinental ballistic missile.
The U.S. 8th Army said Saturday’s training event by its troops and the South Korean army was conducted to demonstrate their “precision firing capability” and “exercise assets countering North Korea’s missile launch” late Friday. The 8th Army says the exercise used the Army Tactical Missile System and South Korea’s Hyunmoo Missile II.
The ICBM launched Friday flew longer than any North Korean missile before it, and experts say a large portion of the U.S. is now within range of Pyongyang’s arsenal.
North Korea’s latest intercontinental ballistic missile test has been condemned by France, which is calling for “strong and additional sanctions” by the United Nations and European Union.
The ICBM launched Friday was North Korea’s second, and flew longer than the first one did. Experts say the test puts much of the U.S. within the North’s range.
The Foreign Ministry’s strongly worded statement says the test is a “new grave violation” of U.N. Security Council resolutions and a “major step in the illegal development” of North Korean missiles. France says the continued development of the missile program is a “growing threat and unacceptable to all.”
The statement says, “Only maximal diplomatic pressure might bring North Korea to the negotiating table,” and calls for a united effort to that end.
A private analyst who closely watches North Korea’s nuclear and ballistic missile programs says that if reports about the country’s second intercontinental ballistic missile launch are accurate, the projectile would be powerful enough to reach a wide swath of the United States.
North Korea launched the missile at a steep trajectory late Friday night. Japanese officials said it flew about five minutes longer than the North’s first ICBM, launched July 4.
David Wright, a physicist and co-director of the global security program at the Union of Concerned Scientists, said in Washington on Friday that if reports of the missile’s maximum altitude and flight time are correct, it would have a theoretical range of at least 10,400 kilometers (about 6,500 miles). That means it could have reached Los Angeles, Denver and Chicago.
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