North Korea releases photos of Kim Jong-un celebrating latest missile launch

Lester Mason
December 7, 2017

North Korea on Wednesday successfully tested a new intercontinental ballistic missile, with leader Kim Jong Un declaring his country had now achieved full nuclear statehood. "So they won't take drastic action such as overthrowing the regime for us".

The US in response warned that Mr Kim's regime would be "utterly destroyed" if its pursuit of a long-range nuclear missile arsenal provokes a military clash, and has battled to maintain worldwide solidarity in the face of North Korea's nuclear threat.

North Korea held mass celebrations for its latest successful long-range missile test, Pyongyang's state media said on Saturday (Dec 2), with a propaganda-filled display of fireworks and dancing in public squares.

The Trump administration threatened new sanctions on North Korea after the reclusive government shattered 2½ months of relative quiet with its most powerful weapon test yet.

"That would be a pivotal step in the world's effort to stop this worldwide pariah", she said.

Sung Baikyou, an official from Pyeongchang's organizing committee, on Thursday downplayed worries that North Korea would scare away athletes and visitors to Pyeongchang.

This Wed., Nov. 29, 2017, image provided by the North Korean government on Thu., Nov. 30, 2017, shows what the North Korean government calls the Hwasong-15 intercontinental ballistic missile, at an undisclosed location in North Korea.

Speaking later Wednesday, Trump could not resist taking a dig at Kim. "This situation will be handled!"

Trump's tweets further inflamed tensions reignited this week after North Korea said it had successfully tested a new intercontinental ballistic missile in a "breakthrough" that put the US mainland within range of its nuclear weapons whose warheads could withstand re-entry to the Earth's atmosphere.

So far Wednesday, no new announcements were forthcoming.

Last week, Trump announced new U.S. unilateral sanctions on Pyongyang and returned it to a USA list of state sponsors of terror.

Russia's United Nations ambassador Vassily Nebenzia also urged North Korea to stop the tests and called on the US and South Korea to cancel large-scale military maneuvers scheduled for December.

China once again pressed its proposal that the North stop missile and nuclear tests in exchange for a freeze of United States military exercises - a proposal Washington has repeatedly rejected.

The latest missile was sacked a week after Trump put North Korea back on a U.S. list of countries it says support terrorism, allowing it to impose more sanctions.
Kim personally guided the test and described it as "impeccable", state media said.

State television brought out Ri Chun-Hee, a star presenter who only appears for significant developments, to announce the landmark.

"Kim Jong-Un declared with pride that now we have finally realized the great historic cause of completing the state nuclear force, the cause of building a rocket power", she said.

The addition of two engines doubled the second stage thrust and allows the missile to reach a higher peak altitude, Elleman said.

At least one Western expert said the missile's lofted trajectory suggested an actual range of 13,000 kilometers - enough to hit every major U.S. city. "Such a missile would have more than enough range to reach Washington, D.C., and in fact any part of the continental United States", Wright wrote in a blog post for the Union for Concerned Scientists. The Defense Ministry told lawmakers that further review is needed to determine whether the missile's warhead can survive atmospheric re-entry, accurately hit a target and detonate properly.

Earlier this year, the North tested a massive nuclear weapon with a yield of 100-600 kilotons - roughly 7 to 40 times the power of the bomb dropped on Hiroshima, Japan.

It was not clear whether General McMaster's comments were meant to signal a true willingness to go to war, or whether he was simply trying to shake the North Koreans - and the Chinese - into believing that Mr. Trump, unlike his predecessors, was perfectly willing to reach for a military solution to the problem.

Canada said it would host a meeting of foreign ministers to discuss the North Korean threat.

Other reports by Iphone Fresh

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