Jubilant Kim Jong-un watches launch of new missile capable of hitting London and New York as footage of the test is released and US ambassador warns North Korea would be 'utterly destroyed' if war breaks out
- North Korea has broadcast the first video of its new ICBM, the Hwasong-15, being test-fired by Kim Jong-un
- The missile is the most powerful the dictator has ever launched and can likely range almost the entire globe
- Footage shows Kim walking alongside huge mobile launchpad before the missile is maneuvered?into position
- After a short countdown the missile is fired, reaching ten times the height of the International Space Station
- Donald Trump has vowed to put in place harsh new sanctions after speaking with Chinese leader Xi Jinping?
This is the moment North Korea test-fired its most powerful ICBM ever which is likely capable of striking almost anywhere on earth.
Kim Jong-un can be seen walking alongside a huge new mobile launch platform, which North Korea said was specifically constructed for this missile, before the rocket is maneuvered into place.
After a short countdown the Hwasong-15 missile is blasted into the atmosphere, reaching ten times the height of the International Space Station before falling back down to earth.?
Unlike other test videos, this one was filmed at night because the launch took place around 3am Korea time.?
Photos have emerged of the Hwasong-14 intercontinental ballistic missile which was launched from Pyongsong in North Korea's South Pyongyang Province at around 3.30am yesterday
The North Korean leader was surrounded by subordinates who keenly clapped the test, which saw the rocket fall into Japanese waters yesterday
North Korea's leader Kim Jong Un is seen as the newly developed intercontinental ballistic rocket Hwasong-15's test was successfully launched on Tuesday
The ballistic missile was launched eastward from Pyongsong in North Korea's South Pyongan Province at around 3.30am local time, much to the delight of Kim Jong-un
A view of the newly developed intercontinental ballistic rocket Hwasong-15's test was successfully launched is seen in this undated photo released by North Korea's Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) in Pyongyang
North Korea deliberately fires its missile on a near-vertical trajectory to artificially limit the range. If the Hwasong-15 had been fired on a typical trajectory, analysts believe it would have a maximum range of around 8,000 miles (13,000km) - leaving only South America and a small part of Africa beyond it's reach
The missile flew for around 50 minutes, travelling 1,000km (620 miles), reaching an unprecedented altitude of 2,800 miles, before splashing down in the Sea of Japan
While it is not known exactly why Kim's regime chose to launch in the middle of the night, some have theorised that it was to minimise interference on the sensitive devices used to track the missile's progress.
The day before the test took place, South Korea detected that a missile tracking radar had been switched on at a North Korean base, putting Seoul on alert that a rocket was about to be fired.
The video was broadcast in the afternoon on Korean Central Television, the dictatorship's state-run TV service, and presented by Ri Chun-Hee, the veteran newsreader who is used for significant announcements.
It comes after pictures were released showing a clearly elated Kim watching the missile launch before lighting up a cigarette in celebration afterwards.
The dictator was previously spotted smoking next to the missile before launch, though it seems his advisors have since informed him this was not a good idea considering the several tons of rocket fuel sitting close by.???
The Hwasong-15 intercontinental ballistic missile was launched eastward from Pyongsong in North Korea's South Pyongan Province.
It flew for around 50 minutes, reaching an unprecedented altitude of 2,800 miles, before splashing down in the Sea of?Japan?around 620 miles away.
It marked the first missile launched since one was fired across Japan and into the Pacific Ocean on September 15.
Donald Trump took a rhetorical shot at North Korean dictator Kim Jong-Un on Wednesday, calling him 'a sick puppy' for blasting an intercontinental ballistic missile in Japan's direction.?
Kim Jong-un, with cigarette in hand, is seen laughing and joking in photographs taken after the successful launch of the ballistic missile
Trump said that he plans to slap North Korea with 'major' new sanctions after Tuesday's launch of a missile (pictured: Kim Jong-un inspects the missile ahead of launch) that could theoretically reach the continental United States
The Hwasong-15 missile on top of its mobile launch platform, which North Korea said was built specifically for this test
The launcher was set up in?Pyongsong province, near to the capital Pyongyang, and is not a site previously used for tests
The rocket was launched around 3.30am local time, and some observers suggested this was to reduce interference on sensitive monitoring equipment
'Just spoke to President XI JINPING of China concerning the provocative actions of North Korea,' Trump tweeted Wednesday morning
A map showing the estimated maximum range of North Korea's new Hwasong-15 ICBM which is capable of hitting virtually anywhere in the world with the exception of South America and parts of southern Africa
Trump had said earlier in the day that he plans to slap North Korea with 'major' new sanctions after Tuesday's launch of a missile that could theoretically reach the continental United States.
He spoke with Chinese President Xi Jinping, after spending months working with China to try to apply additional pressure and making repeated public statements about China's ability to bring the rogue nation to heel.
'Just spoke to President XI JINPING of China concerning the provocative actions of North Korea,' Trump tweeted Wednesday morning.
Trump asks China to cut off oil supply to North Korea
The United States has asked China to cut off oil supply to North Korea, US Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley said on Wednesday.
'President Trump called Chinese President Xi [Jinping] this morning and told him that we've come to the point where China must cut off the oil from North Korea. That would be a pivotal step in the world's effort to stop this international pariah,' Haley said.
On October 1 China restricted supply to 2million barrels per annum.
Petrol prices in Pyongyang have increased by around 20 per cent in the last two months as a result.
About 80-90 per cent of North Korea's total trade is with China.
'Additional major sanctions will be imposed on North Korea today. This situation will be handled!' Trump said, without specifying who would be imposing the sanctions – the U.S., China, or both.
Russia on Thursday rejected a US call to cut ties with North Korea in response to the Stalinist regime's launch of an intercontinental ballistic missile.
'We see this negatively. We have repeatedly stated that the pressure of sanctions has been exhausted,' Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov told journalists in the Belarusian capital Minsk.?
His statement came after North Korean leader Kim Jong-un has bragged that his country has achieved full nuclear statehood after the missile test.
State media said the missile was launched from a newly developed vehicle and that the warhead could withstand the pressure of re-entering the atmosphere, which if confirmed would be an important technical advance.
According to an official White House statement about the call with President Xi: 'President Trump underscored the determination of the United States to defend ourselves and our allies from the growing threat posed by the North Korean regime.'
'President Trump emphasized the need for China to use all available levers to convince North Korea to end its provocations and return to the path of denuclearization,' according to the statement.
Still images released by KCTV on Thursday showed Kim inspecting the launcher before it was moved to the testing site
This picture gives a sense of the size of the Hwasong-15 missile as it lays on its launcher. Also clearly visible are the two stages of the rocket - a large initial stage to blast off from the ground, and a second smaller stage to manoeuver the rocket in the air, with a staggered white line to indicate where they separate
Kim Jong-un celebrates with his rocket engineers following the successful launch of the Hwasong-15 on Wednesday morning
Kim meets the team behind the missile launch as they celebrate the successful test
North Korea ended a 10-week pause in its weapons testing on Tuesday when it fired off a Hwasong-15 rocket - its most powerful intercontinental ballistic missile yet which the regime claimed could be fitted with a 'super heavy nuclear warhead'.
It poses a new challenge for President Donald Trump who has vowed not to let North Korea develop nuclear missiles that can hit the US mainland.
After watching the launch, Kim Jong-un boasted about its success, according to state television presenter Ri Chun-Hee.
'Kim Jong-un declared with pride that now we have finally realized the great historic cause of completing the state nuclear force, the cause of building a rocket power,' the presenter said.
'The great success in the test-fire of ICBM Hwasong-15 is a priceless victory won by the great and heroic people of the DPRK,' she added, using the abbreviated name for North Korea.
US Defense Secretary Jim Mattis warned on Tuesday that North Korea now has the ability to hit 'everywhere in the world' and that the latest missile test went 'higher, frankly, than any previous shot they have taken.'?
It comes as a former NASA scientist has warned that North Korea is just one mistake away from sparking World War Three.
Dr David Baker, who advised the Reagan administration during the Cold War, spoke out after Kim Jong-un tested his most powerful ICMB to date which puts most of the world within range.
Dr Baker said the dictator is taking 'considerable' risks with such tests which could see a missile malfunction and veer off-target.
KIM 'COULD DEAL FATAL BLOW TO WINTER OLYMPICS'
North Korea could deliver a 'fatal blow' to the 2018 Winter Olympics if it launches a missile or stages another provocation before the event, a South Korean minister warned Thursday.
Unification Minister Cho Myoung-Gyon made the remarks as reports said annual South Korea-US military exercises might be postponed to avoid coinciding with the winter games and paralympics in South Korea's Pyeongchang.
'If the North provokes again at a time when the Olympic Games are imminent, it may deal a fatal blow to the Olympics,' he said at a forum in Seoul.
'Therefore it is important to stage the Pyeongchang Winter Olympics in a stable atmosphere', he added.
The world's largest winter sports festival takes place from February 9 to 25, 2018. The Paralympics are scheduled to begin on March 9.
Both will be held in the mountainous resort town of Pyeongchang, 80 kilometres (50 miles) south of the tense border with North Korea.
The annual military exercises, codenamed Key Resolve/Foal Eagle, usually start late February or early March and run until the end of April.
Tensions tend to rise during the drills, which are condemned by the North as rehearsals for invasion.
North Korea has reacted angrily to the exercises, conducting its own military drills including missile launches.
Yonhap news agency, quoting defence sources, said Seoul may request the postponement of the joint US-South Korea exercises to avoid overlapping with the Olympics.
But the presidential Blue House said it has not discussed this or made any decisions on the matter.
North Korean state television brought out Ri Chun-Hee, a senior broadcaster who only appears for significant developments, to announce the landmark missile launch
Pictures released by the South Korean Navy show the country's ship-to-surface missile Haesong-II being fired from the Aegis ship in response to North Korea's missile test?
North Koreans were spotted celebrating on the street?after hearing the news of the successful launch of the new intercontinental ballistic missile
US Defense Secretary Jim Mattis warned on Tuesday that North Korea now has the ability to hit 'everywhere in the world' and that the latest missile test went 'higher, frankly, than any previous shot they have taken'?
UK Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson took to Twitter to condemn the missile launch?
'This is quite dangerous given the proximity of peripheral states who would accept as a declaration of war any stray missile hitting their territory, whether it carried a warhead or not,' he said.?
'The risk is considerable. Even technologically advanced nations struggle to keep these missiles on track.'
He pointed to the example of a British test off Cape Canaveral last year when a ballistic missile had to be destroyed after it was accidentally launched at America, rather than into open waters near Africa.
'North Korea is putting considerable faith in the guidance systems of these missiles,' he added.
He added that the hermit state could now be as little as a year away from gaining the ability to bring a nuclear weapon back down to earth intact.
North Korean state media said the latest test missile was launched from a newly developed vehicle and that the warhead could withstand the pressure of re-entering the atmosphere.
'If North Korea were to demonstrate that ability with a missile launched deep into the Pacific Ocean, that would be more dangerous than the Cuban Missile Crisis,' Dr Baker said.
He added: 'That would almost certainly cause a military response from America, and I would not rule out the use of tactical nuclear strikes in that situation.
'We are living in increasingly dangerous times. The movement towards accepting the use of nuclear arms in a conflict is being lowered year by year.'?
Kim Jong-un is placing 'considerable' faith in the guidance systems of his missiles, Dr Baker said, adding that even advanced nations struggle to keep the weapons on track
It comes as South Korean reunification minister Cho Myoung-gyon warned that Kim Jong Un may develop a viable long-range nuclear weapon within a year (file image)
Crazy Kim's nuclear threat to the West is suddenly VERY real: As North Korea launches its most powerful missile yet, a chilling account of why America's defence shield ISN'T impregnable - and Britain's even more vulnerable
By Tom Leonard in New York for the Daily Mail
The apocalypse begins in darkness with the rumble of huge lorries emerging from remote hangars and mountain tunnels at secret locations across?North Korea.
Time and stealth are of the essence if their deadly cargo of intercontinental ballistic missiles aren't to be spotted by circling U.S. satellites, which could prompt their destruction by cruise missiles fired from ships and submarines around the Korean Peninsula.
The Pyongyang regime, which has often staged launches around midnight, knows that its enemies' best chance of destroying its long-range missiles is while they're still on the ground.
The task of launching a hydrogen bomb at America has fallen to Kim Jong-un's fleet of Chinese-made 'transporter erector launchers'.
These giant vehicles, so often seen during military parades, can unleash North Korea's latest Hwasong-15 'Mars' missiles in as little as 20 minutes.
The US defence against North Korea's missile program features satellites, a mobile radar system, and interceptor rocket launches
The missile has shocked Western experts with its sophistication. At a flatter trajectory, it could hit anywhere in the U.S., although a nuclear warhead (which the test missile was not carrying) would add considerable weight and limit how far it could travel. A target on America's West Coast, however, would be easily within range.
If the attackers are lucky, the West's battery of imaging satellites and radar scanners — based on land, sea and in space, and continually watching the 'Hermit Kingdom' — will only notice when the rocket fuel ignites and gives off a heat signature betraying its position.
Airborne missiles are a far harder target to bring down.
Unless America's largely untested missile defence system manages to destroy them all — unlikely, warn experts — at least one thermonuclear warhead would detonate just half an hour later in the skies over Los Angeles. The City of Angels would become Dante's Inferno. According to a reliable nuclear blast simulation model, just a single H-bomb — like one tested by North Korea in September — detonating over central LA would kill 150,000 people and injure 370,000 more. (The estimates for a more densely packed city such as New York run into the millions.)
Everyone in a 600-yard radius below the detonation would be vaporised by a huge fireball. Many more would die in a nearly two-mile radius out from 'ground zero' due to the huge blast wave of displaced air.
Generating winds of hundreds of miles an hour, it would destroy not only all residential homes but even reinforced concrete skyscrapers. The bomb's intense heat energy would start fires in a radius of more than four miles, the thermal radiation giving third-degree burns deep into the skin, causing severe scarring and possibly requiring amputation for anyone still alive.
Affected areas would stretch as far east as the skyscrapers of downtown LA, and as far west and north as Hollywood, Sunset Boulevard and the multi-millionaire stars' homes of Beverly Hills — the glamour and glitter of Tinseltown gone in an instant.
Deadly radioactive dust would be blown for hundreds of miles, but the political fallout would be far more deadly as the horrific attack sparked a global conflict.
For years it's been easy to dismiss this sort of nightmare scenario as sheer fantasy, thanks largely to the clapped-out state of North Korea's arsenal, for all the hysterical threats of its leaders.
Kim keeps a close eye over his subordinates as they make final adjustments to the missile before it was launched
Hwasong-15 is the most powerful ICBM North Korea has ever fired, and is likely capable of hitting almost anywhere on Earth
Yet it has now been revealed that California officials are preparing for just such a cataclysm. After North Korea first tested an intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) capable of reaching America's West Coast in July, the LA-area Joint Regional Intelligence Centre secretly issued a 16-page nuclear attack plan.
It tells officials that a North Korean attack on Southern California would be 'catastrophic', and warns them to urgently beef up their response strategies.
The advice ranges from 'lie face down and place hands under the body to protect exposed skin', and 'remain flat until the heat and shockwaves have passed', to the bleak assurance that there would be 'no significant federal assistance' for between 24 and 72 hours following an attack.
Experts agree that it's become terrifyingly plausible following the rogue state's announcement — since corroborated by the U.S. — that it successfully tested a hydrogen bomb on September 3. Tremors from the underground explosion were felt in South Korea and China, and its power has been put at a staggering 250 kilotons.
Harnessing 17 times the force of the atomic bomb dropped on Hiroshima in 1945, a hydrogen bomb explosion — even an accidental one over a relatively unpopulated area — in the atmosphere would cause such devastation that massive nuclear retaliation would be inevitable.
The H-bomb development has been hailed as a 'game changer' and a 'quantum leap' in the threat posed by North Korea.
'We used to talk about North Korea hypothetically. Unfortunately now it's not so hypothetical,' says Rodger Baker, a North Korea analyst at Stratfor, a U.S. global intelligence firm.
Experts generally agree that Kim Jong-un is more likely to drop a hydrogen bomb on another country by accident rather than design. While he may be bad — allowing his people to starve, and machine-gunning members of his own family — he's not mad.
He'll know that he's committing suicide by launching a nuclear attack against the U.S. or its Asian allies, South Korea and Japan — both of which have treaties virtually guaranteeing America would hit back with atomic weapons. However, Pyongyang has been launching so many missiles — 16 separate tests so far this year — that some people believe a monumental slip-up is inevitable.
Alternatively, Donald Trump may provoke Kim either by launching a military operation, or goading him with colourful threats.
Mr Trump has warned he will 'unleash fire and fury like the world has never seen' on his 'suicidal' foe, while Pyongyang has insisted the U.S. President's threats amount to a declaration of war.
According to North Korean officials, the deluded regime has long believed it could rein in a hostile U.S. if it could just destroy one of its cities.
At least the U.S. would know pretty quickly if North Korea was unleashing a real attack. In order to have the best chance of getting past U.S. and Japanese missile defences, Pyongyang would fire every missile it had in the hope that this 'swarm attack' would ensure at least one got through.
US President Donald Trump?has warned he will 'unleash fire and fury like the world has never seen' on his 'suicidal' foe, while Pyongyang has insisted the?threats amount to a declaration of war
It would take less than a minute for satellites to raise the alarm at the U.S. missile defence command and control centre at Schriever Air Force Base in Colorado.
The base would direct radars in the Pacific region to track each missile in the five to seven minutes it took them to climb into outer space, gathering information on velocity, trajectory and altitude, so the command centre could work out the type of missile and whether it was heading for the U.S.
Shooting down a long-range ballistic missile in flight has been likened to hitting a speeding bullet with another bullet — except that, at an average speed of four miles a second (14,400mph) ICBMs are eight times faster than a bullet.
The U.S. and its Pacific allies have various defences to take out shorter-range North Korean missiles over the ocean.
These consist of the ship-based Aegis system and the ground-based THAAD missiles located in South Korea and on the U.S. island of Guam.
Neither system, however, is considered able to knock out an ICBM, which travels much higher and faster than less powerful types of missile and therefore requires a different type of defence.
Stopping an ICBM would fall to America's $40 billion Ground-Based Midcourse Defence (GMD) system, which has 34 large 'interceptor' missiles — four at Vandenberg Air Force Base in California and 30 at Fort Greely in Alaska.
Those interceptor missiles would be fired from their silos within eight to ten minutes of the North Korean launch being detected. As the missiles soared into space, they would be tracked by U.S. radars able to look out for Pyongyang countermeasures such as decoy rockets launched in a 'threat cloud' of flying objects designed to confuse defences.
In space, the U.S. interceptors release what's called an Exoatmospheric Kill Vehicle (EKV), a device designed to destroy missiles outside the Earth's atmosphere.
It seeks out its target using a cutting-edge onboard computer and a rocket motor that helps it steer in space.
Such a device would hurtle through space for about six to 12 minutes before hopefully pulverising a Korean missile as it smashed into it at 22,000mph.
U.S. Defence Secretary Jim Mattis, left with Bahrain's Crown Prince Salman bin Hamad Al Khalifa on Wednesday, said that North Korea's launch of a new style of intercontinental ballistic missile demonstrated the regime now has the ability to hit 'everywhere in the world'
Unfortunately, this impressive-sounding system has met with mixed results in trials, and has never been tested in battle.
Critics say the EKV system is deeply flawed, and some scientists have calculated that if North Korea launched even five ICBMs, there would be a 28 per cent chance of one of them getting through.
The Pentagon claimed in June it can protect the U.S. from a 'small number' of missiles, not a barrage.
Uncertainty remains over what North Korea has in terms of missiles and bomb payloads. However, Kim Jong-un has ramped up his research programme to feverish levels in the past year.
As for Trump, once his defence chiefs were sure mainland America was the target, he would have little time — 'maybe ten minutes', a U.S. defence expert said recently — to decide whether to launch a retaliatory strike before LA was hit.
American land-based ICBMs could be in the air within five minutes, while those on submarines would take 15 minutes. Once launched, they cannot be recalled.
Professor Anthony Glees, head of the Centre for Security and Intelligence Studies at Buckingham University, says that the nuclear violence would spread rapidly.
China, feeling threatened by American reprisals, and watching its ally North Korea obliterated, would inevitably become involved militarily. So would Britain, with its Trident nuclear subs, and other Nato countries under their Article 5 commitment to support the U.S.
And as the nuclear fallout spread across the globe, the disaster would 'open the floodgates' to other nuclear-armed countries — notably India and Pakistan — deciding they have 'nothing left to lose but to settle old scores'.
'Nuclear winter would result. The nuclear dust would eventually kill everybody,' says Professor Glees flatly. 'This would be the Doomsday bomb.'
MR TRUMP'S HANDWRITTEN NORTH KOREA NOTES
The piece of paper was spotted on the table in front of Trump as he addressed reporters in the?Roosevelt Room of the White House a?few hours after the missile streaked across Korean and Japanese skies.
'MISSILE WAS LAUNCHED FROM NORTH KOREA - WILL TAKE CARE OF IT,' the note read.
Not straying far from his notes, Trump then told reporters: 'A missile was launched a little while ago from North Korea. I will only tell you that we will take care of it. It is a situation that we will handle.'
The piece of paper was spotted on the table in front of Trump as he addressed reporters in the Roosevelt Room of the White House a few hours after the missile launch
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