North Korean missile test

North Korea has successfully launched a test ballistic missile that could have a range of at least 4,000 km – two thirds of the distance to the US.

BBC: North Korea carries out new ballistic missile test

Japanese officials say the missile, which launched from north-western Kusong, reached an altitude of 2,000km.

The nature of the launch is still being determined, but analysts have said the test could suggest a longer range than previously tested devices.

The Japanese defence minister said it flew for about 30 minutes before falling in the Sea of Japan and could be a new type of missile.

Tomomi Inada said it covered a distance of about 700km (435 miles), reaching an altitude of more than 2,000km (1,245 miles) – higher than that reached by an intermediate-range missile North Korea fired in February.

If the Japanese analysis of the trajectory is right (that the missile reached an altitude of 2,000km), North Korea appears to have advanced its technology markedly.

Experts quoted by Reuters say the altitude meant the missile was launched at a high trajectory, limiting the lateral distance it travelled. They say if it had been fired at a standard trajectory, it would have had a range of at least 4,000km.

The US Pacific Command said in a statement the type was being assessed but that its flight was not consistent with that of an ICBM, which would have the range to reach the US mainland (more than 6,000km).

This will raise concerns and tensions.

South Korea’s newly elected President Moon Jae-in, who is seeking deeper engagement with the North, said it was a “reckless provocation”.

The White House said President Donald Trump “cannot imagine Russia is pleased” because the missile did not land far from Russian territory.

A Kremlin spokesperson later said Russian President Vladimir Putin was concerned by the test.

China, North Korea’s only major ally, called for restraint by “all relevant parties” in the wake of the latest test.

I’m not sure that either Kim Jong-un or Donald Trump are able or willing to exercise restraint, at least with their rhetoric.




  1. High Flying Duck

     /  May 15, 2017

    Re your last comment, Trump has shown on several occasions that he is willing to soften or change his position when the facts warrant it.

    Case in point:

    “US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said Trump is considering how moving the US Embassy in Israel to Jerusalem would affect the Mideast peace process.

    Tillerson gave the most detailed description yet of Trump’s criteria for making the decision.

    He told NBC’s Meet the Press that Trump is listening carefully to both Israelis and Palestinians about whether moving the embassy would be helpful for peace talks or a distraction.

    As a candidate, Trump vowed to move the embassy. But since taking office he’s said he’s studying the issue before making a final decision.

    Israel considers Jerusalem its capital and has urged the US for years to move its embassy there from Tel Aviv. The Palestinians claim east Jerusalem for the capital of a future independent state.”

    The fact you keep publishing partisan articles proclaiming the end of the world under Trump doesn’t change the reality, which is that he has built a good rapport with a number of world leaders and has taken prudent actions in his limited foreign policy decisions to date.

    • How is this a partisan article? It quotes tha Japanese defence minister expressing concern, the new South Korean Prime Minister expressing concern, and a report of Putin expressing concern.

      Trump has been provocative, and so far North Korea don’t seem to have pulled back, to the contrary they appear to have advanced their testing.

      And Trump has demonstrated impulsiveness on a number of times, and also a habit of acting on impulse, sometimes based on ego.

      The reality as I see it is a potentially volatile situation that doesn’t appear to have improved at this stage.

      • Gezza

         /  May 15, 2017

        A commenter on China Affairs on Aljaz tv last night said the Chinese Government would be concerned that this test indicates North Korea is advancing its missile technology faster than they expected.

      • Brown

         /  May 15, 2017

        North Korea is permanently volatile, will talk tough and fire off crackers but Fat Boy knows that if anything ballistic hits South Korea, Japan or looks remotely capable of hitting the US its game over. He is just trying to impress the locals before finally starving them to death.

        I think the partisan article comment from HFD reflects your consistent sourcing of leftie liberal and progressive stuff generally rather than this one item.

        • Do you include Fox and WSJ as “leftie liberal and progressive stuff”.

          Criticising based on personal perceptions of sources rather than content is a lazy way of diverting from the issues being discussed.

      • High Flying Duck

         /  May 15, 2017

        I wasn’t calling this article partisan. Just calling out your comment at the end of it.
        For partisan articles look to most of your other Trump posts.
        Trump is playing NK very well at the moment I think and even opening a path to dialogue.

    • Gezza

       /  May 15, 2017

      “he has built a good rapport with a number of world leaders”

      Largely according to him. In most cases I’m aware of, they’ve met him. And gone away & thereafter said very little.

      • High Flying Duck

         /  May 15, 2017

        From China:
        “The official China Daily newspaper said it was encouraging to see the two-day summit that ended on Friday “going as well as it could”, after earlier “confusing signals” from Washington about how it was approaching the U.S.-China relationship.

        Trump had campaigned with strident anti-China rhetoric and had angered Beijing before taking office by talking to the president of Taiwan, the self-ruled island Beijing claims as its own.

        But the two sides avoided any diplomatic gaffes at Trump’s Mar-a-Lago resort in Florida that would have tarnished the meeting in the eyes of the protocol-conscious Chinese.

        China Daily said both parties appeared “equally enthusiastic about the constructive relationship they have promised to cultivate”.

        “This may sound surreal to those preoccupied with an ‘inescapable’ conflict scenario between what they see as rising and incumbent powers,” the newspaper wrote in an editorial.

        “But that Beijing and Washington have so far managed to do well in preventing conflicts shows confrontation is not inevitable.”

        From Canada:
        “Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said on Thursday that “unlike many politicians,” President Trump actually listens and is open to changing his opinion.

        “I’ve learned that he listens,” Trudeau said during a sit-down chat with Bloomberg. “He is a little bit unlike many politicians,” he continued, before quipping that he should leave that sentence as it is.

        Trudeau said that typical politicians are “very much trained” to take a position in stick with it. Conversely, he said Trump is willing to change his mind if he hears good counter-arguments or reasons.

        “I think there’s a challenge in that for electors, but there’s also an opportunity in that for people who engage with him to try and work to achieve a beneficial outcome,” Trudeau said.

        Theresa May:
        “The prime minister has used an interview with American Vogue to praise the meeting with the president, who she said had achieved a “stunning election victory” given his lack of experience in politics.

        “I like to think we got on,” she said, adding that she would not reveal the details of private conversations with Trump, including whether she criticised his previous controversial comments about women.

        “All I would say is, I’ve been very clear: I’m not afraid to raise issues. And the nature of the relationship is such that we should be able to be frank and open with each other.”

        Her Vogue interviewer, Gaby Wood, said May laughed when she raised the issue of the hand-holding. “I think he was actually being a gentleman. We were about to walk down a ramp, and he said it might be a bit awkward,” she said.

        With the Danish Prime Minister:
        “There were no awkward silences, ignored handshakes or cold body language at the press conference following the meeting between PM Lars Løkke Rasmussen and US President Donald Trump yesterday. In fact, it looked quite the opposite of Trump’s cringeworthy meeting with German Chancellor Angela Merkel recently.

        Rasmussen and Trump looked to be getting on like a house on fire. Both men were all smiles and throwing about the plaudits for one another during the press meeting, and their handshake for the cameras included a loud clap as their hands clasped together in a manner befitting a family BBQ rather than dignitaries at a White House. And a family affair it sort of was (see the handshake in the video below).”

        And so it goes on…

  2. Bill Brown

     /  May 15, 2017

    I don’t recall Saddam being such a provocuter and look how he ended up !

    We don’t have the “Bush factor” but Trump has so many issues in his backyard this feels like an eruption ready & waiting for deflection

    WMD in Iraq did not exist, the Yanks looked pretty stupid…. so given the intel was rubbish I’d hate to see what Kim might actually pull off!!

    He does not need to strike the USA, easy targets are just a few miles away with Japan and the South. Radiation anywhere will be catastrophic