Published: Sat, May 20, 2017
Science | By Hubert Green

South Korea wants to reopen communication with North Korea

South Korea wants to reopen communication with North Korea

It is now one step closer to an intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) that could eventually threaten the continental United States. In fact, it's first-ever test against an intermediate-range ballistic missile target, like the Hwasong-12, is expected to take place this year.

However, had it been launched at a standard trajectory, it would have reached at least 2,500 miles - nearly half the distance required to reach the United States mainland. Although this contingency was far down the list of options, North Korea didn't know that.

Its Missile Technology Is Reaching New Heights.

Saturday's successful launch means Pyongyang's quest to develop an ICBM is progressing more quickly than previously thought.

This launch is the latest in a long list of weapons tests carried out by the regime of Kim Jong-un, particularly since past year.

Saturday's launch may have been the missile's maiden test flight.

U.S. rocket scientists have said that the missile launched by North Korea on Monday showed considerable progress the country made towards developing an intercontinental ballistic missile which can reach America. He said the missile went very high and came down, but he would not characterize it as demonstrating the controlled re-entry of a missile. If accurate, it would be the highest of any of North Korea's recent missile launches. She explained that the weapon had been launched at a high trajectory (meaning it was aimed high), which limited the distance it traveled - a total of 787 kilometers. China's foreign ministry didn't immediately respond to a request for comment. Had the missile been flown on a normal trajectory, it could have traveled 2,500 miles, putting USA bases in Guam at risk.

"We're willing to work with South Korea to preserve the hard-won results, properly handle disputes, put China-South Korea relations back onto a normal track and benefit both peoples on the basis of mutual understanding and mutual respect", he said. "I think it is possible".

"If it would be appropriate for me to meet with him, I would be honored to do it".

Kim noted that the US has "gestured" as if it wants dialogue, referring to a series of recent remarks by senior USA officials that suggested Washington may have become more willing to open talks with the North.

This latest launch in Pyongyang exhibited a "level of performance never before seen from a North Korean missile", aerospace engineering specialist John Schilling wrote on his defense blog 38 North Sunday evening. Hong also expressed the need for pressure and sanctions on Pyongyang, but emphasized that he agrees with Washington's calls for talks.

South Korean President Moon Jae-in presides over National Security Council at the Presidential Blue House in Seoul, South Korea, May 14, 2017.

The ballistic missile North Korea successfully tested on May 14 appears to be a new, more potent addition to the country's rapidly expanding arsenal. In 2009, Pyongyang similarly disabused President Obama of his view that the regime would act differently than it had under George W. Bush.

U.S. President Donald Trump warned in an interview with Reuters in late April that a "major, major conflict" with the North was possible, but he said he would prefer a diplomatic outcome to the dispute over its nuclear and missile programs.

Needless to say, the comments were met with a great deal of puzzlement in the worldwide community, given Kim's mercurial, iron-fisted rule and his expansionist goals, especially with South Korea in his cross-hairs.

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