North Korea has fired its first intercontinental ballistic missile in more than four years. Well, that's what Japan's defence ministry is calling it. The suspected ICBM flew to an altitude of 6,000 kilometres and a distance of just over 1000 kilometres, flying around 70 minutes before splashing down in waters off Japan's western coast yesterday. The provocative test is North Korea's 11th for this year, the last one on March 16 which appeared to have failed just after launch. Analysts are saying that yesterday's test could be the longest-range missile yet fired by North Korea. Japan's Vice Defense Minister the missile's high altitude suggests it is a "new type of ICBM", and a problematic sign that North Korea is closer to developing weapons capable of reaching as far as the US. The US has now joined its allies South Korea and Japan in strongly condemning the launch the test and is calling on North Korea to refrain from further testing and destabilising the region. According to analysts, the recent spate of North Korean missile tests suggests the country's leader, Kim Jong Un, is attempting to show that Pyongyang remains a player in the struggle for power and influence, especially in… Read full this story
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