United States revises assessment of N. Korea launch

United States revises assessment of N. Korea launch”

South Korean security analyst Kim Dong-yub said Saturday that South Korea's assessments don't contradict US military evaluations that identified the launches as short-range ballistic missiles.

While the projectile that supposedly blew up immediately after launch was clearly a failure, Kim, the analyst, said the North with the other missiles could have been experimenting with developmental technologies or deliberately detonated the warheads at certain heights and locations.

The test "shows an advance in capability", says The Times because the "missiles were 300-millimeter rockets fired from a multiple-tube launcher".

The South Korean Office of the Joint Chiefs of Staff said the projectiles were launched from the North's eastern Kangwon province into the sea. Japan has previously deployed missile interceptors after North Korea threatened to fire projectiles over Japan toward the USA territory of Guam.

The launches are believed to be North Korea's first test since the Fourth of July when it fired its first intercontinental ballistic test into the sea near Japan.

The sensible thing is for the United States to refrain from reckless rhetoric now (N Korea's Kim starting to respect U.S., says Trump; Aug 24).

The South Korean and USA militaries are in the midst of the annual Ulchi Freedom Guardian drills involving computer simulations of a war to test readiness and run until August 31.

However, some experts say North Korea is now mainly focused on the bigger picture of testing its bargaining power against the United States with its new long-range missiles and likely has no interest in letting things get too tense during the drills.

In response to North Korea's expanding nuclear weapons program, South Korea has been moving to strengthen its own capabilities, planning talks with the United States on raising the warhead limits on its missiles and taking steps to place additional launchers to a US anti-missile defense system in the country's southeast.

China's commerce ministry late on Friday banned North Korean individuals and enterprises from doing new business in China, in line with United Nations Security Council sanctions passed earlier this month.

US President Donald Trump's reactions, with statements such as "fire and fury like the world has never seen" and "locked and loaded", could be taken in jest.

Mr. Tillerson voiced optimism "that perhaps we are seeing our pathway to sometime in the near future having some dialogue". "I respect the fact that he is starting to respect us", Trump said of Kim. Hours later North Korea had said it was "carefully examining" plans to strike Guam.

The official KCNA news agency quoted Kim as telling its Army that it "should think of mercilessly wiping out the enemy with arms only and occupying Seoul at one go and the southern half of Korea".

China seems frustrated with the situation and has hinted that if North Korea launches missiles that threaten United States soil first and the United States retaliates, then Beijing would stay neutral.

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