N. Korea: ICBM Launch Was 'Gift' to America

Kim says more 'gifts' are on the way
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 5, 2017 4:40 AM CDT
Updated Jul 5, 2017 6:10 AM CDT
Pyongyang: Missile Launch Was 'Gift to US'
A man walks by a TV screen showing a local news program reporting about North Korea's missile firing at Seoul Train Station in Seoul, South Korea, Wednesday, July 5, 2017.   (AP Photo/Lee Jin-man)

North Korea's first successful launch of an ICBM has shocked the world—and caused some gloating in Pyongyang. North Korea's KCNA news agency quoted Kim Jong Un as saying "American bastards would be not very happy with this gift sent on the July 4 anniversary," the Guardian reports. The agency said Kim, who has vowed not to give up the country's nuclear program, urged his nuclear scientists to "frequently send big and small 'gift packages' to the Yankees." According to KCNA, the missile North Korea launched Tuesday is capable of carrying a large nuclear warhead. The latest:

  • The US and South Korea responded to the launch with a joint ballistic missile exercise in the Sea of Japan on Tuesday, reports the BBC. The two countries warned that "self-restraint" was "all that separated armistice and war."

  • The US vowed to take tougher measures on North Korea, with Secretary of State Rex Tillerson calling for global action, reports Reuters. "All nations should publicly demonstrate to North Korea that there are consequences to their pursuit of nuclear weapons," he said. The United Nations Security Council will hold a meeting on the issue Wednesday.
  • The New York Times looks at the different options President Trump can proceed with, and finds that they are "few and risky." One option that China and Russia agree on involves Pyongyang suspending its nuclear weapons program in return for the US suspending joint military exercises with South Korea.
  • The launch of an ICBM has long been seen as a "red line," though analysts believe Pyongyang may still be years away from having long-range nuclear capability, the AP reports. Hamish de Bretton-Gordon, a former commanding officer of the British Armed Forces Joint Chemical Biological Radiological Nuclear Regiment, says "in capability of missile terms and delivery, it is a major step up and they seem to be making progress week-on-week," but "actually marrying the warhead to the missile is probably the biggest challenge, which they appear not to have progressed on."
  • The Los Angeles Times reports that the ICBM launch wasn't a huge surprise for some analysts, who observed that North Korea had two mysterious launch failures at the same facility last fall.
  • The Australian Broadcasting Corporation looks at just how far the North Korean ICBM could go. Experts believe Alaska and possibly some America's Pacific bases are now in range, as is northern Australia.
(More North Korea stories.)

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