- Title: Latest N. Korea launch demonstrates new level of capability -experts
- Date: 5th July 2017
- Summary: WASHINGTON, D.C., UNITED STATES (JULY 5, 2017) (REUTERS) HARRY KAZIANIS, DIRECTOR OF DEFENSE STUDIES AT THE CENTER FOR THE NATIONAL INTEREST, SEATED FOR AN INTERVIEW AND SPEAKING (SOUNDBITE) (English) HARRY KAZIANIS, DIRECTOR OF DEFENSE STUDIES AT THE CENTER FOR THE NATIONAL INTEREST, SAYING: "So we knew this day was going to come. And now really the next focal point is what comes after. Because we know the North Koreans are working to make sure that they can make a nuclear weapon on this long range missile. But the next escalation that we have to worry about is when the North Koreans test a hydrogen bomb and then are able to put that on a missile. Because that's essentially a city killer that could kill millions, maybe tens of millions, of people if you struck a target like Los Angeles. So, it's really what comes after this and the trend lines that we have to worry about. That's why everybody is so concerned." WIDE OF KAZIANIS SPEAKING NEXT TO A CONFERENCE ROOM (SOUNDBITE) (English) HARRY KAZIANIS, DIRECTOR OF DEFENSE STUDIES AT THE CENTER FOR THE NATIONAL INTEREST, SAYING: "Well, I think we have to take a step back and understand there's no magic bullet to solving North Korea. It really is the ultimate Pandora's box. There's no very good military options here. Really, what we need to do is we need to contain the problem. But beyond that more than anything else, you need to put sanctions in place that are tough enough that will raise the cost of the North Korean nuclear missile programs, to make it prohibitively difficult for them to keep building these type of weapons." CLOSE OF KAZIANIS'S FACE WHILE HE'S SPEAKING
- Embargoed: 19th July 2017 20:01
- Keywords: North Korea Pyongyang nuclear threat missile launch ICBM
- Location: WASHINGTON, D.C., UNITED STATES / UNKNOWN LOCATION
- City: WASHINGTON, D.C., UNITED STATES / UNKNOWN LOCATION
- Country: USA
- Topics: Conflicts/War/Peace,International/National Security
- Reuters ID: LVA0046OFZOZR
- Aspect Ratio: 16:9
- Story Text: Taking a major step in its missile program, North Korea on Tuesday (July 4) test-launched an ICBM, which some experts believe has the range to reach Alaska and the Pacific Northwest of the United States.
"This is a new system because they've taken two existing components from other systems that existed and put them together to create a new capability," Michael Elleman, Senior Fellow for Missile Defense at the International Institute for Strategic Studies in Washington, told Reuters on Wednesday (July 5).
"I suspect that once they create, successfully test, something that could strike Burbank or Kansas City, they'll test it three or four more times and say 'we're good'," Elleman said, adding that he did not feel Pyongyang would reach that capability stage until 2019 or 2020.
The test, the first of its kind by North Korea, led to the United States, Japan and South Korea requesting an emergency meeting of the U.N. Security Council on Wednesday, scheduled to start at 3 p.m. (1900 GMT). The council is currently chaired by China.
The U.S. military assured Americans on Wednesday that it was capable of defending the United States against any threat from North Korea's newly developed intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM), which Pyongyang says can carry a large nuclear warhead.
"We knew this day was going to come," Harry Kazianis, Director of Defense Studies at the Center for the National Interest told Reuters on Wednesday.
"And now really the next focal point is what comes after... The next escalation that we have to worry about is when the North Koreans test a hydrogen bomb and then are able to put that on a missile. Because that's essentially a city killer that could kill millions," Kazianis said.
Still, Elleman cautioned that Pyongyang's nuclear missile threat should not be judged on one test alone. He said the "alarm" over the latest launch could have a "positive" effect by pushing the U.S., its allies and the international community to consider more options to resolve the issue, including what he said were the "inevitable" dialogue and negotiations with Pyongyang.
The July 4 missile test is a direct challenge to U.S. President Donald Trump who has been urging China, North Korea's main trading partner and only major ally, to press Pyongyang to give up its nuclear program.
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