North Korea fires intercontinental ballistic missile

North Korea has fired an intercontinental ballistic missile, US military sources have confirmed.
The ICBM appears to have been launched from Pyongsong, according to South Korea’s joint chiefs of staff, over the sea between South Korea and Japan.
President Donald Trump said “we will take care of it” when questioned about the missile launch.
A US government source confirmed the launch, which was detected at 6.30pm GMT. The Pentagon says there is no threat to the USA or its allies. The Japanese government said the missile was in the air for 50 minutes. It is reported to have travelled about 1,000km (650 miles) on a “lofted trajectory” before coming down in the Sea of Japan.

South Korea’s military says the ICBM had an altitude of 4,500km. It conducted a missile-firing test in response shortly after.

Japan’s defence minister Itsunori Onodera said the missile broke up before it landed in the sea, inside the country’s exclusive economic zone.

The UN Security Council will meet at 3pm (8pm GMT) on Wednesday after requests from the USA and Japan to discuss the missile firing.

An EU spokesman has said the missile launch is a “further violation of its international obligations”, while a NATO spokesman said the launch “undermines regional and international security”.

Japan’s UN ambassador said the government has told North Korea “that we criticise their behaviour in the strongest terms possible.

US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson condemned the launch and called for “all nations to continue strong economic sanctions against Pyongyang.

UK ambassador to the UN Matthew Rycroft tweeted: “Reckless missile programme. Reckless nuclear programme. Reckless behaviour. Reckless leadership. Kim Jong Un must change course for the sake of the world, and his own people.”It is the first launch since 15 September, when North Korea fired an intermediate ballistic missile.

It also comes one week after President Trump put the secretive nation back on the list of countries that support terrorism.

North Korea denounced the decision calling it a “serious provocation and violent infringement”.

The Japanese government was on alert after radio signals suggested North Korea may be preparing for a launch.

South Korea’s unification minister said on Tuesday that North Korea may announce the completion of its nuclear weapons programme in 2018. According to Yonhap News, Cho Myoung-gyon said: “North Korea has been developing its nuclear weapons at a faster-than-expected pace.

“We cannot rule out the possibility that North Korea could announce its completion of a clear force within one year.”

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