North Korea’s ballistic missile reaches 4,500 km altitude

Tokyo, November 29: North Korea test-fired another Intercontinental Ballistic Missile (ICBM) called the Hwasong-15, which reached an altitude of over 4,500 km. The test occurred at 3:00 am Indian Standard Time (IST) in Sain Ni, north of Pyongyang. The missile travelled east for about 53 minutes before splashing down in the Sea of Japan. It was the country’s third ICBM test this year.

Image Source: CNN

 The missile landed in Japan’s Exclusive Economic Zone, an area that extends 200 nautical miles from its coasts.The launch represents the longest range test yet by the country led by dictator Kim Jong Un. It was the first test since an intermediate-range missile launch by North Korea on September 15, 2017.

The United States President, Donald Trump reacted to news of the launch, stating, “It is a situation that we will handle.” But Defence Secretary Jim Mattis expressed concern. “It went higher, frankly than any previous shot they’ve taken,” Mr. Mattis said in the White House, in a budget meeting with the president and Republican congressional leaders.

With such moves by the North Korean Government, it is evident that it wishes to be acknowledged as a ‘nuclear superpower’. This move comes after President Trump put the country back on a list of state sponsors of terrorism.

Domino effect

The Asian share markets were held back by caution over the latest missile test by North Korea and concerns at recent softness in Chinese shares. North Korea’s immediate neighbour South Korea responded with a “precision missile strike drill,” matching the flight distance, while ally China has voiced “grave concern” over North Korea’s missile test and called for talks to peacefully resolve the nuclear crisis.

By Aparna Ganesan