Pentagon Assesses N. Korea Could Cross ICBM Threshold Next Year

Jerome Frank
July 27, 2017

Pyongyang launched an intercontinental ballistic missile, capable of reaching Alaska on July 4 - American Independence Day.

According to two United States officials, however, some other analysts who study North Korea's missile programme do not agree with the DIAL assessment.

North Korea has accelerated its ballistic missile program this year.

Wednesday is the 64th anniversary of the Korean Armistice Agreement, which ended the fighting in the Korean War, and North Korea has been known to launch missiles on celebrated dates and anniversaries.

According to the Washington Post, U.S. officials warn in a new assessment that North Korea will be able to strike the U.S. with a nuclear intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) by next year.

"A North Korea with a medium and long-range nuclear capacity would be highly destabilising for the entire region, and would represent not only a threat to our region but a threat to the globe".

What may seem like conflicting reports - that North Korea's economy is growing while its people also face severe food shortages because of drought - underline the sharp divisions that exist in one of the world most isolated and repressive states.

Therefore, Liu said, the specific measures in a new resolution need to be measured against achieving those three objectives. She added that she was satisfied with Beijing's initial response to the proposal because it showed "seriousness".

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So I think for all of us, we should give Secretary Tillerson full support in attempting to resolve this diplomatically and economically even as we recognize that it may not happen, and there may have to be a follow-up option, which is the military option.

"There's much more that China can do, and that's why we've been supporting the United States in calling on China to review its sanctions".

Russian Federation has questioned whether the missile actually was an ICBM, though China did not.

"If they really wanted to fill the gap by importing food from outside, they could spend that amount of money easily, but they don't do it because they can always have access to the NGOs (nongovernment organizations) and worldwide organizations ready to provide them with free food assistance", Go said.

"And I do not think that for the objective of working out a resolution you need really to go to the technical nitty gritties of things", he said.

US intelligence agencies have indicated that defiant North Korea is testing the components to launch another intercontinental balllistic missile or intermediate range missile test from a submarine.

One anonymous US official told The Washington Post, North Korea is likely to test a new re-entry vehicle as early as Thursday, July 27. "We're going to see what the situation is".

Other reports by Guamnewswatch

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