PN's Voice 120

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PN's Voice 120, 06.07.2017
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PN's Voice No. 120,  06. 07. 2017 
Small steps, Road to peace


Seoul confirms N. Korean ICBM test

South Korea's defense ministry on Wednesday confirmed North Korea's test of a new intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM), identifying it as an upgraded two-stage version of its KN-17 or Hwasong-12 missile. During a parliamentary briefing, Defense Minister Han Min-koo said that the ministry put the missile's range at between 7,000 kilometers and 8,000 km but found no definitive evidence to prove its atmospheric re-entry capability. The minister also noted there is a "high" possibility of Pyongyang staging another nuclear test and that its capability to miniaturize a warhead has reached a "considerable" level.

After launching what it calls the Hwangsong-14 missile earlier Tuesday, the North claimed it succeeded in its first ICBM test, with the missile reaching a top altitude of 2,802 kilometers before splashing into the East Sea, some 933 km away from the launch site.During the briefing, Seoul's ministry refused to conclude the North succeeded in developing an ICBM. "Considering that the missile was launched from a fixed launch pad, and that we have yet to confirm whether (the missile) has re-entered (the atmosphere), there are still limits for us to conclude that the North has been successful in its ICBM development," the ministry said in the briefing. "What matters is whether its warhead functioned well from a military standpoint when it re-entered the atmosphere after flying into space," Han noted.

The minister also noted the "high" possibility of Pyongyang staging another nuclear test. The North has a track record of conducting nuke experiments following long-range rocket tests. "It is hard to conclusively talk about (the possibility), but I think the likelihood is high given that (becoming a nuclear power) is the North's national goal," he said. Han, in addition, mentioned his presumption that the North's capability to miniaturize a warhead has reached a "considerable" level."
Source : Yonhap News

N.K. Might have Miniaturized Nuke Warheads for ICBMs: ex-IAEA official

A former senior international nuclear watchdog official has raised the possibility of North Korea having nuclear warheads small enough to fit on intercontinental ballistic missiles, a U.S. broadcaster reported Thursday. It is possible for the North to have held considerably elaborate and miniaturized nuclear warheads with less than 500 kilograms given its technology and manpower, Olli Heinonen, former deputy director-general for safeguards at the International Atomic Energy Agency, told Radio Free Asia. He said that more than a decade has passed since the North conducted its first nuclear test in 2006.

The North has pressed ahead with its nuclear program as a major task, into which it has put talented manpower and huge resources, Heinonen pointed out, while recalling that it has produced plutonium since the 1980s, even before the nuclear test. However, the North's ICBM deployment is likely to be possible one or two years from now, he said. The North's sixth nuclear test, if carried out, will have an importance more in political purposes than in improving technology, he said. It may be the last chance to make nuclear negotiations with the North by mobilizing both incentives and restrictions, he added.
Source : Yonhap News

Moon Asks For German Support on N. Korean Nuke Issue

President Moon Jae-in held a summit with German Chancellor Angela Merkel and asked for her active support and cooperation in efforts to resolve the North Korean nuclear issue. In a news release issued ahead of the summit talks on Wednesday, Moon said that the North’s missile provocation poses a serious threat to peace on the Korean Peninsula and the world and that much stronger global sanctions and pressure should be produced to stop the provocations. However, he added that the North Korean nuclear issue should ultimately be resolved in a peaceful way, calling for full support and cooperation from the German leader on the matter.

Merkel promised the German government’s support for South Korea and its people in their efforts to counter the North’s nuclear and missile provocations. She also expressed hope the two nations will further enhance bilateral relations.
Source : KBS News

U.S. Clashes with China & Russia over NK at UNSC

The U.S. clashed with China and Russia over North Korea at a UN Security Council (UNSC) meeting Wednesday, following the North’s latest missile test. The U.S. called for strong additional sanctions against Pyongyang along with the U.K. and France. China and Russia opposed sanctions and instead called for dialogue.

U.S. Ambassador to the UN Nikki Haley warned during the emergency UNSC session that countries risk their trade arrangements with the U.S. if their business with North Korea violates UN sanctions. Haley said that the U.S. is prepared to use the full range of its capabilities to defend itself and its allies and one of its capabilities lies with its considerable military forces. She added that Washington will use its military forces if it must, but prefers not to have to go in that direction. However, China and Russia voiced their clear opposition to military options, repeating calls for withdrawing the deployment of the U.S. THAAD antimissile system on the Korean Peninsula. Washington and Beijing were also at odds over additional sanctions against Pyongyang.

The U.S. ambassador said that Washington will circulate a new Security Council resolution in the coming days that raises the international response in a way that is proportionate to the North’s escalation. She hinted that the U.S. would seek its own sanctions if the UNSC fails to adopt the new resolution. The UN Security Council is expected to have difficulties adopting a new resolution with such sharp differences among its members.
Source : KBS News


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