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    The long-range strategic ballistic rocket Hwasong-12 (Mars-12) is launched during a test in this undated photo released by North Korea's Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) on May 15, 2017.

    N Korean Missile Launch Becomes Headache for Major Regional Powers

    © REUTERS/ KCNA
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    On Sunday, North Korea successfully test-fired a new surface-to-surface ballistic missile. The launch was personally overseen by North Korean leader Kim Jong-un.

    The mid- and long-range rocket called Hwasong-12 capable of carrying a large nuclear warhead was launched in the vicinity of Kusong, a city in North Pyongan province.

    The missile flew 787 kilometers along its planned trajectory, reached a maximum flight altitude of 2,112 kilometers and dropped into the open sea, according to a report by KCNA news agency.

    The launch was personally overseen by North Korean leader Kim Jong-un.

    North Korean leader Kim Jong Un inspects the long-range strategic ballistic rocket Hwasong-12 (Mars-12) in this undated photo released by North Korea's Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) on May 15, 2017.
    © REUTERS/ KCNA
    North Korean leader Kim Jong Un inspects the long-range strategic ballistic rocket Hwasong-12 (Mars-12) in this undated photo released by North Korea's Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) on May 15, 2017.

    According to the report, the test launch proved the reliability of all the missile’s systems, including target guidance, stabilization, flight control and the launching system.

    North Korean leader Kim Jong Un inspects the long-range strategic ballistic rocket Hwasong-12 (Mars-12) in this undated photo released by North Korea's Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) on May 15, 2017.
    © REUTERS/ KCNA
    North Korean leader Kim Jong Un inspects the long-range strategic ballistic rocket Hwasong-12 (Mars-12) in this undated photo released by North Korea's Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) on May 15, 2017.

    After the launch Kim Jong-un "hugged officials in the field of rocket research, saying that they worked hard to achieve a great thing," KCNA reported.

    He also said that North Korea would conduct new missile and nuclear tests in order to perfect its nuclear weapons needed to counter "nuclear blackmail" by the United States.

    According to Radio Sputnik contributor Mikhail Sheinkman, the political consequences of the missile launch have been apparent for "all parties involved in the potential talks on the hypothetical North Korean nuclear threat."

    First of all, according to him, this was a message for Washington.

    "The most perfect weapon systems in the world will never become the eternal monopoly property of the US. … The US should not disregard or misjudge the reality that its mainland and Pacific operation region are in sighting range for strike," Kim was quoted as saying by KCNA.

    North Korean leader Kim Jong Un reacts with members of the Korean People's Army scientists and engineers in this undated photo released by North Korea's Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) on May 15, 2017.
    © REUTERS/ KCNA
    North Korean leader Kim Jong Un reacts with members of the Korean People's Army scientists and engineers in this undated photo released by North Korea's Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) on May 15, 2017.

    Sheinkman suggested that Kim’s statements are likely to be a "bluff" but there is no real possibility to call it.

    Moreover, while reacting to the missile launch, the Pentagon said that the rocket fell into the water some 100 km from the Russian coast, in a bid to drag Moscow in an atmosphere of "shock and panic."

    "The US wants Moscow to be concerned over North Korea, even though not as much as the countries regarded by Pyongyang as enemies, such South Korea and Japan," the author wrote.

    Finally, the missile launch was an unpleasant surprise for China. Earlier, Beijing invited a group of North Korean representative to the Belt and Road Forum on May 14-15.

    "Kim Jong-un showed that he is not going to be as meek as a lamb even in relations with China," Sheinkman noted.

     

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    Tags:
    missile launch, nuclear weapons, security, Kim Jong-un, Democratic Republic of North Korea (DPRK), China, United States, Russia
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