Published: Wed, March 29, 2017
Global Media | By Meredith Barber

North Korea's Latest Missile Test Exploded Within Seconds

North Korea's Latest Missile Test Exploded Within Seconds

A North Korean missile fired Wednesday exploded "within seconds of launch", according to US Pacific Command. USA officials stress however that tougher sanctions will be the likely response for the time being, and a senior US official told Reuters on Monday the Trump administration was considering these as part of a broad review of North Korea policy.

Jeffrey Lewis, founding publisher of Arms Control Wonk, told Business Insider that North Korea's ultimate intention with its nuclear program is to create a thermonuclear weapon that can hit the mainland US.

A North Korean missile fired Wednesday morning exploded within seconds of launch, the South Korean and American militaries said, a reassuring sign for allies anxious about the speed at which the country's weapons program has been progressing. We are working with our Interagency partners on a more detailed assessment.

North Korea rejects claims by Washington and Seoul that the military drills are defensive.

"The current situation on the peninsula is extremely tense - "everyone with his dagger drawn" would be a fair description", she said.

The communist country has carried out five nuclear tests with a host of missile launches - despite stern warnings from the UN.

Deputy ambassador at the North Korean mission to the United Nations in Geneva, Choe Nam, told Reuters that this, includes developing a "pre-emptive first strike capability" and an Inter-Continental Ballistic Missile (ICBM). The two-month Foal Eagle combat training exercise kicked off March 1. About 28,500 US soldiers are deployed in South Korea.

The ill-fated missile, which marks the country's third test of the year and second so far this month, is seen as a response to annual joint military drills by the US and South Korea. "Missile tests are a nice way to send a signal".

North Korea may have dug new tunnels around the Punggye-ri test site in the northeast of the country, Fox said, citing a USA official. "As the saying goes, "let he who tied the bell on the tiger take it off", she said.

The North Korea missile was launched near Kalma in eastern Wonsan Province, where North Korea has previously attempted to launch its mobile-launched Musudan intermediate-range ballistic missile.

North Korea announced on Sunday that they have successfully tested a new high-thrust engine representing a new leap forward in their ballistic missile program.

"They did a launch (in February), they're now launching more in 30 days".

China has long struggled to find a way to fundamentally resolve the North Korean problem, and when measures have been adopted, often procrastinates in implementing them.

North Korea is pushing hard to upgrade its weapons systems to cope with what it calls USA hostility. The South Korean defense ministry said it was conducting analysis to determine further details.

Under past United Nations resolutions, North Korea is barred from any use of ballistic missile technology.

As aerospace engineer John Schilling wrote in January, North Korea's primary space launch vehicle, the Unha-3, "could be pressed into service as a crude ICBM".

Amid a period where both governments are undergoing a review of North Korea policy, the two envoys to the six-party talks to denuclearize the North, defunct since 2008, agreed to make "speedy progress" on the North Korea issue.

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