The Latest: North Koreans praise latest missile launch


SEOUL, South Korea (AP) — The Latest on North Korea’s missile launch (all times local):

North Korean citizens in the capital are praising their country’s launch of what it called its first intercontinental ballistic missile.

Soon after the authoritarian government announced Tuesday that it had fired the missile that morning, a 38-year-old Pyongyang man named Ri Song Gil said his country “can attack anywhere in the world.” He added, “Now, the time when the U.S. could threaten the world with nuclear weapons has passed away.”

Twenty-seven-year-old Kim Hye Ok calls the launch “extremely delightful news” and says North Korea “will march forward along our own way” despite international sanctions.

The launch appeared to be the North’s most successful missile test yet. A U.S. scientist examining its height and distance said it could be powerful enough to reach Alaska.

China says it opposes North Korean missile launches that violate U.N. Security Council resolutions.

Foreign Ministry spokesman Geng Shuang told reporters Tuesday that his country was collecting information about North Korea’s latest launch, conducted earlier in the day.

North Korea announced that it had tested an intercontinental ballistic missile, though that claim could not be immediately verified. The missile flew about 930 kilometers (580 miles) and fell into the Sea of Japan.

Geng said that China urges “the North Korean side to stop taking actions that violate Security Council resolutions and to create the necessary conditions for the resumption of talks.”

He also defended China’s efforts to try to resolve the North Korean nuclear issue. He said that China’s role is indispensable, and that its contribution in that regard is recognized.

Japan’s government spokesman says it is still studying North Korea’s claim that it successfully tested an intercontinental ballistic missile.

Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga (yoh-shi-hee-deh soo-gah) said Tuesday that Japan is “carefully analyzing the maximum distance of its flight.”

Suga said the missile landed about 300 kilometers (500 miles) off Oga Peninsula on Japan’s northwestern coast.

North Korea announced that it tested an intercontinental ballistic missile earlier Tuesday. It is part of a string of recent tests as it works to develop a nuclear-tipped missile that could reach the United States.

North Korea says its latest missile test reached a height of 2,802 kilometers (1,740 miles) and flew 933 kilometers (580 miles) for 39 minutes before falling into the sea.

The country’s Academy of Defense Science said Tuesday in a statement that it was a successful test of an intercontinental ballistic missiles called Hwasong-14.

The statement was distributed by North Korea’s KCNA news service.

The reported trajectory was similar to that announced earlier by U.S., South Korean and Japanese officials, though the U.S. judged it to be an intermediate-range missile.

Either way, it would be a longer and higher flight than similar tests previously reported.

The U.S military says it tracked a North Korean missile for 37 minutes before it landed in the Sea of Japan.

The Hawaii-based U.S. Pacific Command said in a statement Tuesday that an intermediate-range ballistic missile was launched from near an airfield in North Korea.

NORAD, or the North American Aerospace Defense Command, said the missile did not pose a threat to North America.

South Korean and Japanese officials reported the North Korean missile launch earlier Tuesday. It is part of a string of recent tests as the North works to build a nuclear-tipped missile that could reach the United States.

President Donald Trump has tweeted about North Korea’s latest ballistic missile launch.

He wrote in two consecutive tweets: “Does this guy have anything better to do with his life? Hard to believe that South Korea and Japan will put up with this much longer. Perhaps China will put a heavy move on North Korea and end this nonsense once and for all!”

South Korean and Japanese officials say North Korea launched a ballistic missile Tuesday morning that is believed to have landed in the Sea of Japan. It is part of a string of recent test-firings as the North works to build a nuclear-tipped missile that could reach the United States.

Japanese officials say a ballistic missile fired from North Korea’s western coast is believed to have landed in Japan’s exclusive economic zone.

Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga told reporters the missile was fired around 9:40 a.m. Tuesday and flew for 40 minutes before landing in the Sea of Japan within waters where Japan claims economic rights.

He said no damage to aircraft or ships has been reported. Japanese media said the coast guard had cautioned ships about potential falling objects.

South Korean officials say North Korea launched another ballistic missile in the direction of Japan, part of a string of recent test-firings as the North works to build a nuclear-tipped missile that could reach the United States.

The South’s Joint Chiefs of Staff said in a statement that the launch was made from North Phyongan province. Other details were scarce. It wasn’t immediately clear if this was a routine firing of a short-range missile or an attempt to perfect North Korea’s longer-range missiles.

Just last week South Korean President Moon Jae-in and U.S. President Donald Trump focused much of their first meeting on opposing North Korea’s development of atomic weapons that threaten both allies.

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