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About The Asian reporter. (Portland, Or.) 1991-current | View Entire Issue (Dec. 4, 2017)
ASIA / PACIFIC
Page 4 n THE ASIAN REPORTER
December 4, 2017
Haley: North Korea “brings us closer to war” the U.S. doesn’t seek
By Edith M. Lederer and Matthew Pennington
The Associated Press
the power of the missile and suddenness of the test jolted
the Korean Peninsula and Washington. The launch at
3:17am on Wednesday, November 29 local time — early
Tuesday afternoon in the U.S. capital — indicated an
effort to perfect the element of surprise and obtain
maximum attention in the U.S.
In a government statement released through state
media, North Korea said the Hwasong-15, the “greatest
ICBM,” could be armed with a “super-large heavy nuclear
warhead” and is capable of striking the “whole mainland”
of the U.S. The North said the missile reached a height of
4,475 kilometers (2,780 miles) and travelled 590 miles
before accurately hitting a sea target, similar to the flight
data announced by South Korea’s military.
After the launch, it said leader Kim Jong Un “declared
with pride” that his country has achieved its goal of
becoming a “rocket power.” State television said Kim gave
the order, and it broadcast a photo of Kim’s signed order
where he wrote: “Test launch is approved. Taking place at
the daybreak of November 29! Fire with courage for the
party and country!”
Later during a speech, Trump could not resist taking a
dig at Kim. Digressing during a speech in Missouri on tax
reform, Trump called Kim “Little Rocket Man” and
described him as “a sick puppy.”
The North Korean launch was a message of defiance to
the Trump administration after it restored North Korea to
a U.S. list of terror sponsors. It raises fears of war or a
pre-emptive U.S. strike and casts a deeper shadow over
the security of the Winter Olympics early next year in
A rattled Seoul responded by almost immediately
What North Korean photos say about new ballistic missile
By Eric Talmadge
The Associated Press
OKYO — North Korea released dozens of photos of
the Hwasong-15, a new intercontinental ballistic
missile (ICBM) it claims can reach any target in
the continental United States. The photo dump, published
in the paper and online editions of the ruling party’s
official daily, is a goldmine for rocket experts trying to
parse reality from bluster.
Their general conclusion is that it’s bigger, more
advanced, and comes with a domestically made mobile
launcher that will make it harder than ever to
pre-emptively destroy. But there’s a potentially major
catch: it might not have the power to go much farther than
the west coast if it is loaded down with a real nuclear
warhead, not a dummy like the one it carried in its test
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NITED NATIONS — The U.S. ambassador to the
United Nations said North Korea’s launch of an
intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) —
which some observers believe could reach the eastern U.S.
— “brings us closer” to a war the U.S. isn’t seeking.
Nikki Haley, speaking at an emergency meeting of the
U.N. Security Council, said that if war comes as a result of
further acts of “aggression” like the latest launch, “make
no mistake, the North Korean regime will be utterly
“The dictator of North Korea made a decision yesterday
that brings us closer to war, not farther from it,” Haley
said. “We have never sought war with North Korea and
still today we do not seek it.”
The Trump administration threatened new sanctions
on North Korea after the reclusive government shattered
two-and-a-half months of relative quiet with its most
powerful weapon test yet.
President Donald Trump tweeted that he spoke with
Chinese President Xi Jinping about Pyongyang’s
“provocative actions,” and he vowed that “additional
major sanctions will be imposed on North Korea today.
This situation will be handled!” Trump’s top diplomat,
Rex Tillerson, said the U.S. could target financial
institutions doing business with the North.
Ambassador Haley told the United Nations Security
Council that North Korea’s missile launch “brings us
closer to war.”
At the emergency Security Council meeting, China’s
deputy U.N. ambassador, Wu Haitao, reiterated the
China-Russia proposal for North Korea to suspend all
nuclear and missile tests and for the U.S. and South Korea
to suspend all military exercises.
Russia’s U.N. ambassador, Vassily Nebenzia, also
urged North Korea to stop the tests and called on the U.S.
and South Korea to cancel large-scale military maneuvers
scheduled for December.
Haley said the world’s nations have the power to further
isolate and reverse North Korea’s dangerous course, by
cutting all ties to the country and enforcing U.N.
sanctions. She said Trump during his call to Xi urged the
Chinese president to cut off all oil deliveries to North
Korea. “That would be a pivotal step in the world’s effort to
stop this international pariah,” she said.
The fresh deliberations about new forms of punishment
for North Korea came after its government said it
successfully fired a “significantly more” powerful,
nuclear-capable ICBM it called the Hwasong-15. Outside
governments and analysts concurred the North had made
a jump in missile capability.
A resumption of Pyongyang’s torrid testing pace in
pursuit of a viable arsenal of nuclear-tipped missiles that
can hit the U.S. mainland had been widely expected. But
MISSILE MADNESS. Nikki Haley, center, the current United States
ambassador to the United Nations, is seen at a Security Council meeting
on maintenance of international peace and security. Haley said North Ko-
rea’s launch of an intercontinental ballistic missile “brings us closer” to a
war the U.S. isn’t seeking. (Photo by Luiz Rampelotto/EuropaNewswire/
Sipa USA)(Sipa via AP Images)
launching three of its own missiles in a show of force.
South Korean President Moon Jae-in expressed worry
that North Korea’s missile threat could force the U.S. to
attack the North before it masters a nuclear-tipped
The launch was North Korea’s first since September 15
and may have broken any efforts at diplomacy. U.S.
officials have sporadically floated the idea of direct talks
with North Korea if it maintained restraint.
The missile also appeared an improvement on North
Korea’s past launches.
If flown on a standard trajectory, instead of the lofted
angle of the test flight, the missile would have a range of
more than 8,100 miles, said U.S. scientist David Wright, a
physicist who closely tracks North Korea’s missile and
nuclear programs. “Such a missile would have more than
enough range to reach Washington, D.C., and in fact any
part of the continental United States,” Wright wrote in a
blog post for the Union for Concerned Scientists.
Japanese defense minister Itsunori Onodera said the
missile landed inside Japan’s special economic zone in the
Sea of Japan.
A big unknown, however, is the missile’s payload. If, as
expected, it carried a light mock warhead, then its
effective range would have been shorter, analysts said.
In his call with Xi, Trump made clear “the
determination of the United States to defend ourselves
and our allies,” according to a White House statement.
Trump also “emphasized the need for China to use all
available levers to convince North Korea to end its
provocations and return to the path of denuclearization.”
The Trump administration bolstered U.S. sanctions
against North Korea in November and imposed new
restrictions on North Korean shipping firms and Chinese
companies that deal with the North.
China’s state-run Xinhua news agency said Xi told
Trump that China remained determined to clear the
Korean Peninsula of nuclear weapons, and to preserve
peace and stability in Northeast Asia.
Lederer reported from the United Nations. Associated Press
writers Lolita C. Baldor and Robert Burns in Washington,
Foster Klug and Kim Tong-hyung in Seoul, and Mari
Yamaguchi in Tokyo contributed to this report.
launch. Here’s a closer look:
The North’s new missile appears to be significantly
bigger than the Hwasong-14 ICBM it tested twice in July.
Note how in the photo it dwarfs North Korean leader Kim
Jong Un, who stands about 5’7” tall. In a tweet just after
the photos were published, Michael Duitsman, a
researcher at the Center for Nonproliferation Studies in
Monterey, California, said: “This is very big missile ... And
I don’t mean ‘Big for North Korea.’ Only a few countries
can produce missiles of this size, and North Korea just
joined the club.” Size is important because a missile
targeting the United States would have to carry a lot of
fuel. Duitsman also suggested the new ICBM appears to
have a different engine arrangement and improved
North Korea boasted repeatedly in its announcement of
the launch that the Hawasong-15 was fired from a
domestically made erector-launcher vehicle. Its photos
back that up. Being able to make its own mobile launch
vehicles, called TELs, frees the North from the need to get
them from other countries, like China, which is crucial
considering the tightening of international sanctions that
Pyongyang faces. TELs make it easier to move missiles
around and launch them from remote, hard-to-predict
locations. That makes finding and destroying the
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