North Korea missile program progressing faster than expected, Seoul says

Posted May 17, 2017

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un vowed to keep conducting nuclear and missile tests until the US makes the "right choice", the North's state-run Korean Central News Agency reported Monday, as the rogue state continues its saber-rattling in hopes of forcing Washington into a dialogue.

Kim Dong-yub, a professor at Kyungnam University's Institute of Far Eastern Studies in Seoul, South Korea, told Reuters that the launch is an advancement that exceeds most expectations on what North Korea's missile program could previously do.

The Security Council also calls on all countries to implement the six North Korea sanctions resolutions it already has adopted "in an expeditious and serious manner".

"North Korea has been a flagrant menace for far too long", a statement released over the weekend said.

"It appears to have not only demonstrated an intermediate-range ballistic missile (IRBM) that might enable them to reliably strike the USA base at Guam, but more importantly, may represent a substantial advance to developing an intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM)", Schilling wrote.

The UN Security Council first imposed sanctions on North Korea in 2006 in response to its five nuclear tests and two long-range rocket launches. "The president said we are leaving open the possibility of dialogue with North Korea, but we should sternly deal with a provocation to prevent North Korea from miscalculating".

The test missile flew 1,200 miles into space, so as the reentry vehicle came back to Earth it encountered extreme heat and buffeting when it hit the atmosphere.

(AP Photo/Lee Jin-man). People watch a TV news program showing an image of North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, published in the country's Rodong Sinmun newspaper, at Seoul Railway station in Seoul, South Korea, Monday, May 15, 2017. In February, North Korea used a "lofted" trajectory to test its new KN-15 solid-fueled missile. That suggests a range of 4500km or more, analysts said.

Besides worries about North Korea's missile and nuclear weapons programmes, cyber security researchers have found technical evidence they said could link the North with the global WannaCry "ransomware" cyber attack that has infected more than 300,000 computers in 150 countries since Friday.

Former SolarCity CEO Lyndon Rive will leave Tesla
Lyndon Rive is Musk's cousin and one of the two co-founders of SolarCity , the solar panel company that Tesla bought past year . Peter Rive, who was SolarCity's chief technology officer, will remain to focus on the company's solar roofs.

The fact that North Korea can target Japan and South Korea and very soon the US mainland has invoked the specter of "decoupling", as my colleague Ankit Panda argued in a piece earlier this month.

The missile seems to have been equipped with a new, high-powered engine that was tested at the Tongchang-ri launch pad in remote North Pyongan Province in mid-March.

The North says it needs atomic weapons to defend itself against the threat of invasion and has carried out two atomic tests and dozens of missile launches since the beginning of previous year.

"We are calling on all of those folks in the region, particularly China and Russian Federation, to do everything they can in terms of sanctions to help resolve the situation and bring stability to the Peninsula", the White House said.

"They have the overwhelming dominant economic relationship with North Korea and because they have the greatest leverage, they have the greatest responsibility", he added.

The president said the envoys will meet with high-ranking officials to exchange ideas and explain the new South Korean government's policy plans.

Kim Do-hoon, 31, said that South Korea, while keeping the "door open for conversation" with the North, should also "show a stern attitude at some level".

The US Ambassador later tweeted: "There are no excuses that justify N. Korea's actions".

New sanctions were expected to be discussed at a closed council meeting today, the diplomats said, speaking on condition of anonymity because talks have been private.