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N. Korea's 'gift'

N. Koreas gift

North Korea has accelerated its missile development programme with increasing tempo since Kim Jong Un's ascendancy in December 2011. After failures in 2016, North Korea has this year made bold advances in its missile programme. It is a matter of grave concern across the globe that North Korea, yet again, tested two intercontinental ballistic missiles late last month. 2017 has been a year of rapid progress for North Korea's missile program as the country has fired 18 missiles during 12 tests since February, further perfecting its technology with each launch. As the south Asian moves ever closer to acquiring nuclear weapons, there is a renewed sense of panic regarding the matter since these developments seriously threaten peace, security, and stability in the region and the world at large. North Korea's efforts to acquire nuclear weapons and its recent test-firings of intercontinental ballistic missiles have brought deep unease in Hiroshima, even as many Japanese appear resigned to the growing threat. This development came just a day before Heroshima marked the 72nd anniversary of August 6, 1945, attack that killed 140,000 people with a sombre ceremony Sunday, a minute of silence to remember the dead and a call to eliminate nuclear weapons. As per speculations, the United States has tried to meddle with the program using cyber methods, which could halt progress. The American stand on the matter is that further action is required against North Korea. Nikki Haley, US Ambassador to the UN spoke to the UN security council after the 15-member body imposed the sanctions against North Korea in response to its two long-range missile tests in July. "We should not fool ourselves into thinking we have solved the problem. Not even close. The North Korean threat has not left us. It is rapidly growing more dangerous." She added. "Further action is required. The United States is taking and will continue to take prudent defensive measures to protect ourselves and our allies." In an attempt to contain this growing threat Haley said that Washington would continue annual military exercises with South Korea. The sanctions include a ban on exports worth more than $1bn (£770m), a large amount of North Korea's total exports, which were valued at $3bn last year. Countries are also prevented from giving any additional permits to North Korean workers – another source of money for Kim Jong Un's regime – and all new joint ventures with North Korean companies and foreign investment in existing ones are not permitted. An asset freeze has also been imposed on two companies and two banks. The latest voice in opposition to North Korea's missile launch is of China. The US-drafted sanctions were negotiated with China, North Korea's chief ally, and are aimed at making Pyongyang return to negotiations on its nuclear programme. China's Ambassador to the UN, Liu Jieyi, called for a halt to the deployment of the US Thaad anti-ballistic missile defence system in South Korea and for relevant equipment to be dismantled. "The deployment of the Thaad system will not bring a solution to the issue of [North Korea's] nuclear testing and missile launches," Liu said, while urging Pyongyang to "cease taking actions that might further escalate tensions". There are significant challenges to testing a long-range missile in a country that is too small to run test flights within its own border. North Korea has started launching longer-range missiles in what is known as a "lofted trajectory", firing the missile almost vertically. This allows the missile to land a short horizontal distance from launch but travel a great distance overall. Higher altitudes are a strong indication of new, more powerful engines and a greater ability to carry a payload that distance. These launches enable Pyongyang to conduct realistic tests of longer-range missiles. They also allow engineers to gather data sent back from the test missile to better understand the challenges faced when a long-range warhead re-enters the Earth's atmosphere at hypersonic speeds, something that generates vast amounts of frictional heat. Further, unlike liquid fuels, which take time to load and are extremely toxic and corrosive to handle, solid fuels are easier to maintain and are more stable. Producing next-generation missiles that can reach the US will be key for North Korea. If the sharp tempo of tests doesn't abate, North Korea is likely to see substantial improvements in its missile programme. Kim Jong-un seems determined to "frequently send big and small 'gift packages' to the Yankees".


This development came just a day before Heroshima marked the 72nd anniversary of August 6, 1945, attack that killed 140,000 people with a sombre ceremony Sunday, a minute of silence to remember the dead and a call to eliminate nuclear weapons. As per speculations, the United States has tried to meddle with the program using cyber methods, which could halt progress. The American stand on the matter is that further action is required against North Korea. Nikki Haley, US Ambassador to the UN spoke to the UN security council after the 15-member body imposed the sanctions against North Korea in response to its two long-range missile tests in July. "We should not fool ourselves into thinking we have solved the problem. Not even close. The North Korean threat has not left us. It is rapidly growing more dangerous." She added. "Further action is required. The United States is taking and will continue to take prudent defensive measures to protect ourselves and our allies." In an attempt to contain this growing threat Haley said that Washington would continue annual military exercises with South Korea. The sanctions include a ban on exports worth more than $1bn (£770m), a large amount of North Korea's total exports, which were valued at $3bn last year. Countries are also prevented from giving any additional permits to North Korean workers – another source of money for Kim Jong Un's regime – and all new joint ventures with North Korean companies and foreign investment in existing ones are not permitted. An asset freeze has also been imposed on two companies and two banks. The latest voice in opposition to North Korea's missile launch is of China. The US-drafted sanctions were negotiated with China, North Korea's chief ally, and are aimed at making Pyongyang return to negotiations on its nuclear programme. China's Ambassador to the UN, Liu Jieyi, called for a halt to the deployment of the US Thaad anti-ballistic missile defence system in South Korea and for relevant equipment to be dismantled. "The deployment of the Thaad system will not bring a solution to the issue of [North Korea's] nuclear testing and missile launches," Liu said, while urging Pyongyang to "cease taking actions that might further escalate tensions". There are significant challenges to testing a long-range missile in a country that is too small to run test flights within its own border. North Korea has started launching longer-range missiles in what is known as a "lofted trajectory", firing the missile almost vertically. This allows the missile to land a short horizontal distance from launch but travel a great distance overall. Higher altitudes are a strong indication of new, more powerful engines and a greater ability to carry a payload that distance. These launches enable Pyongyang to conduct realistic tests of longer-range missiles. They also allow engineers to gather data sent back from the test missile to better understand the challenges faced when a long-range warhead re-enters the Earth's atmosphere at hypersonic speeds, something that generates vast amounts of frictional heat. Further, unlike liquid fuels, which take time to load and are extremely toxic and corrosive to handle, solid fuels are easier to maintain and are more stable. Producing next-generation missiles that can reach the US will be key for North Korea. If the sharp tempo of tests doesn't abate, North Korea is likely to see substantial improvements in its missile programme. Kim Jong-un seems determined to "frequently send big and small 'gift packages' to the Yankees".

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