North Korea launches highest-ever missile that reached 4,500km altitude
North Korea has test-fired an intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) which reached an altitude of 4,500km and flew 960km. The missile, the North's highest-ever ICBM test, landed in Japanese waters. US President Donald Trump has responded by saying, "We will take care of it." This is the latest in a series of Pyongyang's ballistic missile and nuclear weapons tests, leading to simmering regional tensions.
North Korea conducts sixth nuclear weapons test, most powerful yet
On September 3, North Korea said it had successfully tested a missile-ready hydrogen bomb which is several times more powerful than an atomic bomb. The development came hours after an earth tremor was detected by seismologists which was 9.8 times more powerful than the one recorded during the North's fifth nuclear test. The test was met with international condemnation.
Tensions simmer as North Korea launches ballistic missile over Japan
ON September 15, North Korea fired a ballistic missile which flew over Japan's northern Hokkaido island before landing far out into the Pacific Ocean. The launch, the second such test in weeks, happened after the North threatened to "sink Japan and turn America to ashes." Japanese PM Shinzo Abe said Tokyo would "never tolerate" North Korea's dangerous actions.
US, UK, Japan, South Korea condemn North Korean missile launch
US Defense Secretary James Mattis said the North's latest missile launch "went higher, frankly, than any previous shots they have taken." He said Pyongyang was creating "ballistic missiles that threaten everywhere in the world." Japan said it would "never accept North Korea's continuous provocative behavior." South Korea also condemned the test while the British ambassador to the UN said it was a "reckless act."
Scientists: Missile could reach continental USA
Worryingly, the missile could've traveled over 13,000km on a standard trajectory, allowing it to reach "any part of the continental United States," according to the US-based Union of Concerned Scientists. The scientists said the missile likely carried a very light mock warhead. Hence, it could be incapable of carrying and delivering a much heavier nuclear warhead for the entire 13,000km distance.
Is North Korea a problem without a solution?
The latest missile test is North Korea's first in around two months. Experts believe that this lull in testing was unlikely due to Trump's strong rhetoric, US-led sanctions or even Chinese pressure, signaling their ineffectiveness. Trump has said his administration will "take care" of the latest test without explaining how. "North Korea is seemingly a problem without a solution," says the BBC's Jonathan Marcus.Share this timeline