North Korea fired a test intercontinental ballistic missile on Wednesday that put the United States mainland within range of its increasingly advanced weapons program, heightening tensions across the globe.
The North, formally titled the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, said the new missile, labelled “Hwasong-15”, reached the altitude of some 4,475 k.m. and flew 950 k.m. during a 53 minute flight.
Multiple ballistic missile tests have been carried out in the past year in defiance of international condemnation and harsh sanctions from even its closest ally China.
DPRK leader Kim Jung Un even oversaw the isolated country’s largest nuclear bomb test in September.
U.S. President Donald Trump made clear once again that the DPRK “will be handled”, an expression the leader has used in the past when the North has carried out missile tests.
Haley threatens destruction
The United Nations Security Council held an emergency meeting called by Japan, France and the United States where U.S. Ambassador Nikki Haley threatened North Korea’s destruction and encouraged China to cut of oil to the DPRK.
Haley made clear that the U.S. did not seek conflict but the North’s regime would be “utterly destroyed” if a war between Washington and Pyongyang broke out.
The DPRK has fired several intercontinental tests this year, but Haley warned the North that “continued acts of aggression” would only serve to destabilize the region.
“We need China to do more,” said Haley. China is North Korea’s closest ally.
Earlier on Wednesday, the White House said Trump called Chinese President Xi Jinping, who responded to his request of using “all available levers to convince” to DPRK to “end its provocations and return to the path of denuclearization.”
Mr. Xi told Trump that Beijing “unswerving goal” to maintain peace and stability in the South-east Asia, as well as to work towards the DPRK’s denuclearization.
Several observers say that due to the sky-high height of the rocket test indicates that the U.S. Capitol could be within range, and also most likely Canada’s Ottawa and Toronto.
More details to follow. Image 1 of a purported model of an ICBM in the DPRK from Wokv.