CONTROVERSIAL TOPICS

CONTROVERSIAL TOPICS

Tuesday, August 29, 2017











US deploys stealth fighters and supersonic bombers for live-fire drill with South Korean forces - but North Korea dismisses it as a 'wild military act'

  • The U.S. flew two bombers and four fighter jets alongside South Korean forces on Thursday in a live-fire drill
  • The display was in response to North Korea, which launched a midrange ballistic missile over Japan earlier this week 
  • The drill also came a day after the U.S. tested it's missile defense off the coast of Hawaii 

  • The US and South Korea conducted bombing drills along the border on Thursday, in a clear warning to North Korea following another ballistic missile launch earlier this week.
However, the rogue-nation dismissed the joint training exercise and said it will not deter them from continuing their nuclear program.
'The wild military acts of the enemies are nothing but the rash act of those taken aback,' said the Korean Central News Agency - which acts as the mouthpiece of dictator Kim Jong-Un.
Two U.S. B-1B supersonic bombers and four F-35B stealth fighter jets joined four South Korean F-15 fighters in live-fire exercises at a military field in eastern South Korea.
The training mission simulated precision strikes against the North's 'core facilities,' according to the U.S. Pacific Command and South Korea's Defense Ministry.
The B-1Bs were flown in from Andersen Air Force Base in Guam while the F-35Bs came from a U.S. base in Iwakuni, Japan.
The United States flew some of its most advanced warplanes in bombing drills with ally South Korea on Thursday, a clear warning to North Korea. Above, two U.S. Marine Corps F-35 fighter jets participating in the live-fire drill 
The United States flew some of its most advanced warplanes in bombing drills with ally South Korea on Thursday, a clear warning to North Korea. Above, two U.S. Marine Corps F-35 fighter jets participating in the live-fire drill 
 Two U.S. B-1B supersonic bombers and four F-35B stealth fighter jets joined four South Korean F-15 fighters in live-fire exercises at a military field in eastern South Korea that simulated precision strikes against the North's 'core facilities'
 Two U.S. B-1B supersonic bombers and four F-35B stealth fighter jets joined four South Korean F-15 fighters in live-fire exercises at a military field in eastern South Korea that simulated precision strikes against the North's 'core facilities'
The B-1Bs were flown in from Andersen Air Force Base in Guam while the F-35Bs came from a U.S. base in Iwakuni, Japan
The North, which claims Washington has long threatened Pyongyang by flaunting the powerful U.S. nuclear arsenal, describes the long-range B-1Bs as 'nuclear strategic bombers' although the United States no longer arms them with nuclear weapons. 
The dueling military displays open up the risk that things will get worse as each side seeks to show it won't be intimidated.
North Korea has made it clear that it sees its weapons program, which demands regular testing to perfect, as the only way to contest decades of U.S. hostility, by which it means the huge U.S. military presence in South Korea, Japan and the Pacific. 
U.S. bombers fly over Korean peninsula after latest N Korea launch
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In this photo provided by South Korea Defense Ministry, U.S. Air Force F-35 stealth fighter jets and South Korean F-15 fighter jets fly over the Korean Peninsula on Thursday 
In this photo provided by South Korea Defense Ministry, U.S. Air Force F-35 stealth fighter jets and South Korean F-15 fighter jets fly over the Korean Peninsula on Thursday 
A U.S. Air Force B-1B bomber drops a bomb over the Korean Peninsula, South Korea on Thursday 
A U.S. Air Force B-1B bomber drops a bomb over the Korean Peninsula, South Korea on Thursday 
The dueling military displays open up the risk that things will get worse as each side seeks to show it won't be intimidated. Above, U.S. Air Force F-35 stealth fighter jets and South Korean F-15 fighter jets fly over the Korean Peninsula on Thursday  
The dueling military displays open up the risk that things will get worse as each side seeks to show it won't be intimidated. Above, U.S. Air Force F-35 stealth fighter jets and South Korean F-15 fighter jets fly over the Korean Peninsula on Thursday  
Washington, in turn, seeks with its joint drills with Seoul and bomber flights to show that it will not be pushed from its traditional role of supremacy in the region. More missile tests, more bomber flyovers and three angry armies facing each other across the world's most heavily armed border raises the possibility that a miscalculation could lead to real fighting.
The U.S. Pacific Command said the exercises were conducted in direct response to North Korea's recent missile launch. Over the course of a 10-hour mission, the B-1Bs, F-35Bs and two Japanese F-15 fighters first flew together over waters near Kyushu, Japan. 
The U.S. and South Korean warplanes then flew across the Korean Peninsula and participated in the live-fire training before returning to their respective home stations, according to the Pacific Command.
'North Korea's actions are a threat to our allies, partners and homeland, and their destabilizing actions will be met accordingly,' Gen. Terrence J. O'Shaughnessy, commander of the U.S. Pacific Air Forces, said in a statement. 
'This complex mission clearly demonstrates our solidarity with our allies and underscores the broadening cooperation to defend against this common regional threat. Our forward-deployed force will be the first to the fight, ready to deliver a lethal response at a moment's notice if our nation calls.'In Beijing, North Korea's ally China warned that war is not an option in finding a solution to Pyongyang's growing nuclear capabilities.
Defense Ministry spokesman Col. Ren Guoqiang told reporters that all parties should exercise restraint and avoid words and actions that escalate tension.
The bombing exercise came as the United States and South Korea wrapped up their annual Ulchi Freedom Guardian joint military drills that involved tens of thousands of soldiers. North Korea condemns the annual U.S.-South Korea war games as rehearsals for an invasion and described Tuesday's launch over Japan as a countermeasure against the drills. Washington and Seoul faced calls to postpone or downsize this year's drills.
The live-fire drill came a day after the U.S. tested its missile defense system off the coast of Hawaii. A missile was launched from a base in Hawaii (above) and then shot down by a destroyer  
The live-fire drill came a day after the U.S. tested its missile defense system off the coast of Hawaii. A missile was launched from a base in Hawaii (above) and then shot down by a destroyer  
The United States often sends its warplanes to South Korea, mostly for patrols, when animosity rises on the Korean Peninsula, which is technically in a state of war because the 1950-53 Korean War ended with an armistice, not a peace treaty.
North Korea on Tuesday flew a potentially-nuclear capable Hwasong-12 intermediate range missile over northern Japan and later called it a 'meaningful prelude' to containing the U.S. territory of Guam. North Korean leader Kim Jong Un said the launch was a 'curtain-raiser of its resolute countermeasures' against the U.S.-South Korea war games and called for his military to conduct more ballistic missile launches targeting the Pacific Ocean.
North Korea has been maintaining a torrid pace in weapons tests this year as it openly pursues an arsenal of nuclear-armed, intercontinental ballistic missiles capable of reaching deep into the U.S. mainland. Experts say Kim wants a real nuclear deterrent against the United States to ensure the survival of his government and likely believes that it will strengthen his negotiating position when North Korea returns to talks.
Pyongyang had earlier threatened to fire a salvo of Hwasong-12s toward Guam, which is home to key U.S. military bases and strategic long-range bombers the North finds threatening. It also flight tested a pair of developmental ICBMs in July.
South Korean analysts said that the North's threat against Guam and the launch over Japan on Tuesday are likely attempts to make launches over Japan an accepted norm and win itself greater military space in a region dominated by enemies.
The U.S. and South Korean militaries say the Hwasong-12 the North fired over the northern Japanese island of Hokkaido flew for about 2,700 kilometers (1,677 miles). South Korea's Vice Defense Minister Suh Choo-suk told lawmakers on Thursday that the North might have fired the missile at about half its maximum range.
The bombing test came a day after the U.S. Missile Defense Agency and the Navy conducted a successful missile defense test off the coast of Hawaii.
The test, scheduled well in advance, was done from the USS John Paul Jones.
A missile was fired from Hawaii and Standard Missile-6 guided missiles were shot off from the John Paul Jones to intercept the target.All options are on the table'. But which would neutralise Kim without risking a world war?


  • North Korea's test launch saw a ballistic missile fly over northern Japan in an act of outrageous provocation
  • South Korea then responded to the show of force with a display of firepower near its border with the North
  • Mr Trump said he’d received Kim Jong-un’s message ‘loud and clear’ and added: 'All options are on the table’
  • Kim Jong-un has missiles that have the potential to reach a wide arc of the Western Pacific, including Guam

Just when simmering tensions over North Korea’s nuclear missile programme seemed to be easing, its unpredictable dictator yesterday upped the ante in brazen style — sending a missile capable of bearing a nuclear warhead over Japan.
It was an act of outrageous provocation.
As we have seen, South Korea responded with a display of firepower near its border with the North, while President Trump announced he’d received Kim Jong-un’s message ‘loud and clear’ and repeated that ‘all options are on the table’.
His words didn’t have the impact of that ‘fire and fury’ speech aimed at Pyongyang earlier this month, but the threat is implied. Which begs the question: just how long can the White House go on sabre-rattling?
Washington had persuaded itself that Kim was backing down. The U.S. Secretary of State, Rex Tillerson, believed that China’s willingness to back new, tougher UN economic sanctions against its old ally were a restraint on Pyongyang.
But the latest launch not only flouts Japan’s sovereignty with utter contempt, it confirms that Kim Jong-un has missiles with the potential to reach a wide arc of the Western Pacific, including U.S. bases such as Guam. Major Chinese cities are also within range.A small, poor but reckless and belligerent nuclear-tipped country is testing not only Donald Trump and the United States, but the UN Security Council, which met in emergency session yesterday, too.
It is one thing for global leaders to say ‘all options are on the table’, quite another to choose a line of action that stops North Korea without setting off a nuclear war in East Asia — and, quite probably, World War III.
But at some point, President Trump — and remember, there are four generals in his top team now — must act to teach North Korea and any other rogue regime with nuclear capabilities or aspirations not to push it too far.
Show of force: South Korea launched military drills which included dropping eight bombs on a training field near the northern border, within hours of the North's missile test
Show of force: South Korea launched military drills which included dropping eight bombs on a training field near the northern border, within hours of the North's missile test
U.S. President Donald Trump and first lady Melania Trump depart the White House in Washington, U.S., on their way to view storm damage in Texas
U.S. President Donald Trump and first lady Melania Trump depart the White House in Washington, U.S., on their way to view storm damage in Texas
The Kim dynasty has invested everything it has to obtain nuclear weapons to safeguard its regime. This latest launch is yet another warning that it will stop at nothing to stay in power.
To counter such a high-risk mentality, some in Washington are beginning to think the unthinkable. But for the moment, other options that stop short of triggering Armageddon are more likely.
Option 1: DIPLOMACY 
For some analysts, Kim Jong-un’s provocative actions are what a psychiatrist might call a ‘cry for recognition’. He is a small boy behaving very badly so that the biggest boy on the block, the U.S., will take him seriously.
Treat North Korea as an equal not a rogue, say these analysts.
The problem is that both Kim’s grandfather (Kim Il-sung, who led the invasion of South Korea that started the Korean War of 1950-1953) and father (Kim Jong-il who turned North Korea into a nuclear power) charmed delegations from Washington into reporting back on their plans for reform, when what they were actually doing was pursuing their nuclear agenda relentlessly.
Under Kim Jong-un (pictured on Saturday), Pyongyang has made rapid strides in its ballistic missile technology in violation of UN resolutions and threats of 'fire and fury' from Trump
Under Kim Jong-un (pictured on Saturday), Pyongyang has made rapid strides in its ballistic missile technology in violation of UN resolutions and threats of 'fire and fury' from Trump
Living in fear: South Koreans watch  file footage of a North Korean missile launch, at a railway station in Seoul after the North fired a ballistic missile over Japan and into the Pacific Ocean
Living in fear: South Koreans watch file footage of a North Korean missile launch, at a railway station in Seoul after the North fired a ballistic missile over Japan and into the Pacific Ocean
Appeasement has a poor track record in Pyongyang.
In any case, the Trump administration would demand a verifiable halt to further missile development — and Kim won’t give up his only card willingly.
Option 2: SANCTIONS
If Kim can’t be sweet-talked into seeing sense, then even tougher economic sanctions would force him to choose between North Korea’s economic viability and its nuclear prowess. The UN Security Council, which includes China and Russia, has backed sanctions repeatedly since Pyongyang started its nuclear and missile tests a decade ago.
Earlier this month, the UN beefed up existing sanctions with an international ban on key exports from North Korea amounting to $1billion. China and Russia are North Korea’s lifeline to the outside world and could strangle the regime if they acted in tandem to cut all trade and transport links.
However, with more than 90 per cent of North Korea’s trade going through China, the Chinese would take a hit financially, while a chaotic economic collapse in North Korea could see millions of refugees heading for the Chinese border.
Response: U.S. President Donald Trump said he had received Kim Jong-un's message 'loud and clear' after North Korea's ballistic missile launch over Japan today
Response: U.S. President Donald Trump said he had received Kim Jong-un's message 'loud and clear' after North Korea's ballistic missile launch over Japan today
Response: A bomb hits a mock target at the Pilseung Firing Range  in Gangwon-do, South Korea near the border to the North after  on Tuesday as the South continues military drills 
Response: A bomb hits a mock target at the Pilseung Firing Range in Gangwon-do, South Korea near the border to the North after  on Tuesday as the South continues military drills 
A desperate Kim might even, in a last act of defiance, turn his fire on Beijing and Moscow itself.
Even if prepared for that outcome, Presidents Xi and Putin would demand a high price from Trump for that kind of high-risk help. And remember, the U.S. has just imposed mandatory sanctions of its own on Russia. Would Congress swallow its pride and repeal them to get Putin on board?
In reality, sanctions are slow to deliver. Decades of sanctions were needed to prod Iran into doing a deal, which Trump and Israel still don’t trust. Would a North Korean deal be any more believable?
Option 3: A LIMITED STRIKE
The U.S. had a range of airbases in South Korea, Japan and on the Pacific island of Guam from which to strike, with B1 bombers, cruise missiles, bunker-busting bombs, plus its fleet of nuclear aircraft carriers (each with more attack planes than the entire RAF).
Warning: Colonel Lee Kuk-no of South Korea made it clear that Seoul would respond with full force is North Korea threatened the South
While this firepower would, ultimately, destroy much of North Korea’s military nuclear infra-structure and 10,000 artillery sites, the country is more prepared than ever against an air attack.
It has mobile launchers to move and hide missiles, while the newer North Korean missiles are solid-fuelled (not liquid-fuelled) so can be launched much more quickly in retaliatory strikes at Seoul, the capital of U.S. ally South Korea, where 10 million people live.
There is no foolproof way to neutralise Kim Jong-un’s nuclear warheads by a massive airstrike. Simultaneous special forces’ attacks would be required — and all-out war might well result.
Option 4: FULL INVASION
Despite being far better-equipped than North Korea, the U.S. would require the bulk of its military manpower to be deployed to Korea to ensure a rapid and decisive win, leaving it exposed elsewhere in the world.
War in Korea would tie down the U.S. army and marines — unless South Korea’s 650,000 troops also took part. But South Korea is reluctant to engage in a pre-emptive war that would threaten Seoul with instant destruction.
China is a factor, too. It is vehemently hostile to the U.S. Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) missile defence system that was recently deployed in South Korea.
Drills: South Korea's F-15K fighter jets drop bombs during a training at the Taebaek Pilsung Firing Range on Tuesday morning in Gangwon-do, South Korea
Drills: South Korea's F-15K fighter jets drop bombs during a training at the Taebaek Pilsung Firing Range on Tuesday morning in Gangwon-do, South Korea
Beijing’s fear is that the real target of any American military action in the region is ultimately China. For the U.S. to act without being sure of Chinese neutrality runs the risk of a wider and far more perilous conflict.
Even if China was ready to accept the fall of the Pyongyang regime, a conventional invasion would not be swift enough to stop Kim Jong-un’s regime launching some kind of nuclear strike, as well as firing off his stockpile of chemical and biological weapons.
According to U.S. intelligence, North Korea has between 20 and as many as 60 nuclear bombs. If only a couple were successfully launched at South Korean cities, the scale of the casualties would be horrendous.
Option 5: ASSASSINATION
Taking out Kim Jong-un and his key commanders in a so-called decapitation strike is arguably the cheapest and least devastating option in terms of military and civilian casualties.
Unfortunately, a successful assassination wouldn’t stop a barrage of artillery and rockets being fired in instant retaliation against South Korea and Japan.
It might also require a U.S.-South Korean occupation of North Korea that would be faced by guerilla resistance deploying Kim’s stockpile of chemical and biological weapons. Nor would China — faced with the prospect of millions of refugees heading to its territory — be pleased by a speedy collapse of Kim’s regime.
And if it failed, Kim’s revenge would be indiscriminate attacks aimed at South Korea, Japan and any U.S. bases within range. In reality, a decapitation strike would probably mean all-out war.
Japan's Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said he would do all in his power to protect the Japanese public
Japan's Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said he would do all in his power to protect the Japanese public
Option 6: A U.S. NUCLEAR STRIKE
The ‘first strike’ option is the ‘unthinkable’ that some in Washington are now considering, using America’s massive nuclear superiority to ‘eliminate’ North Korea.
But such an attack would kill millions of North Koreans, alarm America’s European allies, and trigger massively increased defence spending by nuclear superpowers China and Russia.
Option 7: PRESSURE ON CHINA
China’s rivalry with the U.S. has been a key determining factor in its relationship with North Korea in recent years.
North Korea has served a useful purpose because its nuclear antics required Washington to go cap in hand to Beijing in the hope it would restrain its protégé and stop the region from exploding into war.
And China has done well out of its dealings with North Korea. In return for hard currency — which it uses to buy components and expertise for its nuclear programme — North Korea provides cheap labour and raw materials to Chinese businesses.
China, however, has been finding increasingly that the Kim dynasty is not a cosy client. The grisly slaughter of Kim Jong-un’s uncle — reportedly fed to dogs — who had been the regime’s point-man with Beijing back in 2013, was a warning that there were limits to what China could make Kim do.

SK Colonel says they 'will exterminate' North Korean leadership
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Without the Chinese support, Kim Jong-un’s militarised economy would suffocate quickly, so why doesn’t China do more than cut oil supplies and stop buying Kim’s coal?
The truth is that Beijing is wary. Kim’s nuclear deterrent can be pointed at China, too; while a regime collapse would mean a flood of refugees into Chinese territory.
Worse still, an American invasion of North Korea might advance to the Yalu River border with China, as it did briefly in 1950. Such a humiliation could turn Chinese nationalist sentiment against their Communist rulers.
Nor does China want U.S. bases in North Korea. It wants a neutral Korean peninsula and for the U.S. to back off from challenging Beijing’s claims to big swathes of the South China Sea.
Only if Washington can offer China a cast-iron deal would Beijing risk pulling the plug on Pyongyang. But can Washington swallow such concessions?
Rex Tillerson, the U.S. Secretary of State, has hinted he could live with some concessions. But can he persuade Trump? Kim is betting there will be no deal with China.
Kim Jong-un launches new North Korean ballistic missile which flies over panicked Japan as citizens are warned to 'evacuate to a sturdy building or basement'


  • Japanese military did not attempt to shoot down the missile which passed over
  • But people in the northern regions of Japan were advised to take precautions
  • Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said he would do all in his power to protect people 
  • South Korea warned North Korea may be preparing for its sixth nuclear test
  • Detected signs of it preparing another test at its Punggye-ri underground site 
  • US, Japan and South Korea have requested a UN Security Council meeting
The government's J-Alert text message warning system and sirens advised people in the area to take precautions and move to a 'sturdy building or basement'.
The Japanese military did not attempt to shoot down the missile, which passed over its territory around 6.06am local time. 
It broke into three pieces off the coast of Hokkaido and landed in the Pacific Ocean, around 700 miles east of Cape Erimo, after travelling 1,700m in eight minutes.
It is the first time North Korea has fired a projectile over Japan since 2009. Kim Jong Un has been conducting a series of test launches and recently threatened the US territory of Guam.
Previous launches by the dictator have always avoided Japan. But any launch towards Guam such flights would have to pass over the Asian island nation.
The launch, from Pyongyang, comes after Seoul's National Intelligence Service (NIS) told South Korean lawmakers at a closed door parliamentary session that it has detected signs of the secretive state preparing for another nuclear test at its Punggye-ri underground test site. 
North Korea has fired a missile that passed over northern Japan today (file photo)
North Korea has fired a missile that passed over northern Japan today (file photo)
The missile broke into three pieces off the coast of Hokkaido and landed in the North Pacific Ocean, around 700 miles east of Cape Erimo
 Under Kim Jong-un, Pyongyang has made rapid strides in its ballistic missile technology in violation of UN resolutions
 Under Kim Jong-un, Pyongyang has made rapid strides in its ballistic missile technology in violation of UN resolutions
Japan's chief cabinet secretary, Yoshihide Suga, described it as an 'unprecedented, grave threat'
Japan's chief cabinet secretary, Yoshihide Suga, described it as an 'unprecedented, grave threat'
The warning text to citizens said: 'A missile was fired from North Korea. Please evacuate to a sturdy building or basement.'
The warning text to citizens said: 'A missile was fired from North Korea. Please evacuate to a sturdy building or basement.'
Japan's Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said he would do all in his power to protect the Japanese public
Japan's Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said he would do all in his power to protect the Japanese public
Japan's Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said he would do all in his power to protect the Japanese public.
'We will make utmost efforts to firmly protect the lives of the people,' Abe told reporters in brief remarks as he entered his office for emergency meetings on the missile firing. 
The country's chief cabinet secretary, Yoshihide Suga, described it as an 'unprecedented, grave threat'.
The United States, Japan and South Korea have requested a United Nations Security Council meeting to discuss North Korea’s actions, diplomats said.
It was not immediately clear when the meeting of the 15-member Security Council would be held.
The warning text to citizens said: 'A missile was fired from North Korea. Please evacuate to a sturdy building or basement.' 
The Pentagon responded, confirming that they were aware of the launch.A statement read: 'We assess North Korea conducted a missile launch within the last 90 minutes. 
'We can confirm that the missile launched by North Korea flew over Japan. We are still in the process of assessing this launch. 
'North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD) determined the missile launch from North Korea did not pose a threat to North America. 
'We are working closely with Pacific Command, Strategic Command and NORAD and will provide an update as soon as possible.'
British Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson has said he is ‘outraged’ by the ‘reckless provocation’ of North Korea’s latest missile launch. 
North Korea launched a rocket over Japan in 1998 and then a satellite payload in 2009.   
Sirens sound for potential North Korea attack in Japan
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Kim Jong Un has conducted a series of test launches to develop its missile capability and recently threatened to send missiles over western Japan and into waters near the U.S. territory of Guam
Kim Jong Un has conducted a series of test launches to develop its missile capability and recently threatened to send missiles over western Japan and into waters near the U.S. territory of Guam
The missile broke into three pieces off the coast of Hokkaido and landed in the North Pacific Ocean, around 700 miles east of Cape Erimo
The missile broke into three pieces off the coast of Hokkaido and landed in the North Pacific Ocean, around 700 miles east of Cape Erimo
North Korea has previously conducted dozens of missile test. Pictured: The launch of a surface-to-surface medium long-range ballistic missile Pukguksong-2 at an undisclosed location
North Korea has previously conducted dozens of missile test. Pictured: The launch of a surface-to-surface medium long-range ballistic missile Pukguksong-2 at an undisclosed location
North Korea may be preparing for its sixth nuclear weapon test, South Korean officials have warned 
North Korea may be preparing for its sixth nuclear weapon test, South Korean officials have warned 
Kim Jong Un has conducted a series of test launches to develop its missile capability and recently threatened to send missiles over western Japan and into waters near the U.S. territory of Guam.
Japan's military is practicing deploying anti-missile batteries at three U.S. bases in Japan.
The U.S. military says the drills will test the ability of Japanese and U.S. forces to work together and assess firing locations at the bases. They will also allow Japan to practice rapid deployment of its PAC-3 anti-missile system. 
Shinzo Abe: North Korea missile 'apparently flew over Japan'
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NORTH KOREA CALLS ICBM TEST A 'GLISTENING MIRACLE' 

'Our great leader Kim Jong Un sent a personally handwritten letter 2017, July 3rd, ordering the launch of an intercontinental ballistic rocket (Hwasong 14).
'The launch, that was personally supervised by the great leader KJU himself, will now be followed by the National Institute of Science's report.
'National Science Institute's Report: Intercontinental Ballistic Rocket Hwasong 14 was successful.
'Our dear leader KJU's strategic order was followed by a launch of an ICBM, and this was successfully processed.
North Korean Leader Kim Jong Un signs the order to carry out the test-fire of inter-continental ballistic rocket
North Korean Leader Kim Jong Un signs the order to carry out the test-fire of inter-continental ballistic rocket
'The newly developed ICBM Hwasong-14 was launched, and this took place on July 4, 2017 at 9am, and flew for 39 minutes.
'It flew from a northwestern city, and flew precisely following the predicted trajectory. It also reached precisely the targeted point in Chosun (Korean) air.
'Our intercontinental ballistic rocket did not at all bring negative impacts to any nearby country.
'Our intercontinental ballistic rocket reached a maximum altitude of 2,802 km, and flew for 933 kilometres.
'Our dear leader KJU was there to witness the glistening miracle.'
'The success of the last stage of becoming a nuclear power state is developing an intercontinental ballistic missile. Hwason 14 shows the unwithering power of our state, our strong independence and defense in the world and will be marked as a significant mark in our history.
'North Korea, as a nuclear state capable of reaching any country in the world with our intercontinental ballistic rocket, will be able to root out the U.S's nuclear program once and for all, and bring peace and secure safety to the Chosun (Korean) peninsula.'Kim Byung-kee, a lawmaker of South Korea's ruling Democratic Party (DP) said the NIS reported North Korea 'has completed its preparation to carry out a nuclear test at Tunnel 2 and Tunnel 3 of the Punggye-ri nuclear test site.'
He added the NIS had evidence to suggest Tunnel 4 was being readied for more construction work.
Meanwhile the despotic state has continued to test a variety of missiles, the US military has said.
It fired three short range ballistic missiles which revived tensions with Washington after President Donald Trump had said Pyongyang was starting to show some 'respect'.
The launches come as tens of thousands of South Korean and US troops take part in joint military drills in the south of the peninsula, which the North views as highly provocative.
North Korea has recently conducted a number of missile tests
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Following an initial US assessment saying that two of the missiles had 'failed in flight', a spokesman for the US Pacific Command later said the two weapons had not failed but 'flew approximately 250 kilometres (155 miles) in a northeastern direction'.

How far would missile have to travel from Pyongyang to reach the rest of the world?

US Naval Base in Guam: 2,114 miles (3,402 km)
Hawaii: 4,727 miles (7,670 km)
London (over mainland Europe): 5,379 miles (8,657 km)
San Francisco:  5,588 miles (8,993 km)
Los Angeles: 5,935 miles (9,551 km)
New York: 6,783 miles (10,916 km)
Washington, DC: 6,857 miles (11,035 km)
One of the three missiles blew up 'almost immediately', with none of the weapons posing a threat to either North America or the US territory of Guam, the spokesman said.
Lee Il-Woo, an analyst at Korea Defence Network, said the launches represented a 'low-level provocative act' carried out in response to the US-South Korea exercises, which are seen by Pyongyang as a rehearsal for an invasion of its own territory.
The joint exercises started on Monday at a time of heightened tensions between Pyongyang and Washington, after two successful intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) launches carried out by North Korea last month apparently brought most of the United States into range for the first time.
Analyst Yang Uk at the Korea Defence and Security Forum told AFP the latest launches by Pyongyang were 'carefully calibrated... to avoid revving up tensions too high beyond its control'.
The launches, which took place over a span of 30 minutes, came as North Korean state media reported that leader Kim Jong-Un oversaw a military exercise simulating a special forces assault on South Korean border islands involving aircraft, 'multiple-missile launchers' and howitzers. A North Korea Scud-B missile (C) is displayed at the Korea War Memorial Museum on Saturday in South Korea
A North Korea Scud-B missile (C) is displayed at the Korea War Memorial Museum on Saturday in South Korea
A North Korea Scud-B missile (C) is displayed at the Korea War Memorial Museum in Seoul, South Korea, after ballistic missiles were launched into the East Sea
A North Korea Scud-B missile (C) is displayed at the Korea War Memorial Museum in Seoul, South Korea, after ballistic missiles were launched into the East Sea
Neither Japan nor South Korea confirmed the US military's description of the weapons fired by North Korea as 'ballistic missiles'.
South Korea's defence ministry said 'unidentified projectiles', fired at 6:49 am (2149 GMT Friday), flew some 250 kilometres towards the Sea of Japan.
'They could be ballistic missiles but they could be rockets. We are now analysing,' said Japan's Defence Minister Itsunori Onodera, adding that they did not fly on a 'lofted' trajectory.
Under Kim Jong-un, Pyongyang has made rapid strides in its ballistic missile technology in violation of UN resolutions, and it has been penalised by seven sets of sanctions.
Trump has called on China to play a more active role to rein in its neighbour, which relies heavily on the Asian giant for its economic survival.

Kim Jong-un's 70-year-old air fleet  

North Korean despot Kim Jong-un is preparing his special forces for suicide parachute missions across the border on 70-year-old Stalin era biplanes. 
The dictator has a fleet of 300 Antonov An-2 transport aircraft which are capable of flying as slow as 30 miles-per-hour and can even go backwards into a heavy headwind. 
Footage has emerged of North Korean paratroops jumping from the aged aircraft from very low levels in a show of force. 
Kim Jong-un has around 300 Antonov An-2 aircraft which were designed in 1947
Kim Jong-un has around 300 Antonov An-2 aircraft which were designed in 1947
Kim Jong-un, pictured at the controls of one of the ancient aircraft was observing drills involving his elite paratroops who jumped out of the aircraft during a training mission 
Kim Jong-un, pictured at the controls of one of the ancient aircraft was observing drills involving his elite paratroops who jumped out of the aircraft during a training mission 
The Antonov has an incredibly low stalling speed and a very low radar profile meaning it is difficult to spot at night when flown at low level
The Antonov has an incredibly low stalling speed and a very low radar profile meaning it is difficult to spot at night when flown at low level
The aircraft, which were designed in 1947, have an incredibly low radar profile - meaning they are difficult to track using conventional radar. They also fly at such a slow speed that modern anti-aircraft systems are programmed to ignore their limited returns. 
Also, the aircraft can hug the earth meaning ground-based missile systems will not pick them up and supersonic attack jets will find difficulty in detecting them from above. 
The bottom of the wings and the fuselage of Kim's fleet of aircraft have been painted blue with the top of the wings is green as a form of camouflage to prevent both ground troops and aircraft spotting them.  
The images released by North Korean media show the paratroops bailing out of the aircraft at incredibly low levels. 
If they attempted their mission at night it could be difficult for defending missile units and air-to-air fighters to successfully intercept the old-fashioned machines. 
North Korean paratroops performed for the cameras in a show of force, pictured 
North Korean paratroops performed for the cameras in a show of force, pictured 
According to The Drive, the aircraft could even land on short sections of road, allowing their troops to disembark and begin a sneak attack. 
It is feared the old aircraft could even deliver a nuclear bomb - possibly in a suicide attack into a strategically vital location. 
It is believed North Korea has at least 1,000 artillery pieces within striking range of Seoul, the South Korean capital, which is home to 25 million people.
Kim has claimed North Korea now has technology to miniaturise its nuclear weapons to fit onto an ballistic missile. 
North Korea could potentially load a bomb onto the back of an An-2 - with its one-tonne cargo capacity - and detonate it over the south.  

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