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South Korea Disputes North's Claim of Long-Range Missile Test

11 July 2017

North Korea does not appear to have the technology to build intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBMs) or have testing facilities for them, South Korean intelligence services said, referring to a recent long-range missile test Pyongyang claimed was successful.

Four US and South Korean jet fighters joined the live fire drill, which was conducted at a range in Yeongwol County, some 80 kilometres (50 miles) south of the inter-Korean border, the military said.

In response, United States and South Korean soldiers fired ballistic missiles simultaneously in a drill Wednesday, simulating an attack on the North's leadership "as a strong message of warning", the South's military said at the time.

The US also said it had tested an ICBM interceptor missile of its own in May.

Tension further escalated after Tuesday's ICBM test, a milestone in the North's decades-long quest for weapons capable of reaching the US.

"Kim Il Sung was hailed as North Korea's founder, and Kim Jong-il is remembered as the leader who led the North Korean regime through the infamous starvation of the late 1990s", said Jeon Hyun-joon, director of the Northeast Asia Peace and Cooperation Research Institute.

President Donald Trump said Thursday he's considering unspecified "pretty severe things" in response to the North's ICBM launch.

"North Korea's actions are a threat to our allies, partners and homeland", he said.

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The front page of North Korea's state-run newspaper Monday featured a smiling Kim Jong-un waving his right hand at columns of men, most of whom were in military uniforms.

This is the second show of force by the USA military since North Korea fired an ICBM, the first by the country.

The US, Japan and South Korea agreed on Friday to push for a quick UN Security Council resolution to put new sanctions on North Korea.

He added that the agency had not detected any unusual activity at North Korea's Punggye-ri nuclear test site.

Among the numbers performed were Song of Hwasong Rocket and Make Others Envy Us, the North's official KCNA reported.

The US is also expected to test its THAAD missile defence system against an intermediate-range ballistic missile in the next few days.

The missile is now estimated to have a range of 4,000-5,000 miles - enough to reach Alaska or Hawaii, according to aerospace engineer John Schilling.