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    North Korea Not Existential Threat to US in Same Way as Russia - Clapper

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    North Korea does not yet pose an existential threat to the United States in the same way that Russia does, former US Director of National Intelligence James Clapper said at a security forum.

    WASHINGTON (Sputnik) — "This may be a contrarian view, but I actually don't consider North Korea yet an existential threat in the same way that Russia is. Neither they nor we know whether these missiles will work or not. It almost doesn't matter. We have to take them seriously," Clapper said on Friday.

    Pyongyang said on July 4 that it had successfully launched its first intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM), a claim that Washington has corroborated and Moscow has disputed.

    North Korea said the missile traveled 580 miles and reached an altitude of 1,740 miles during its 39-minute flight before "accurately hitting the target waters in the open sea" in the Sea of Japan.

    US officials have also said the test marked North Korea's first successful firing of an ICBM.

    But the Russian Defense Ministry has said its warning system showed that the Hwasong-14 only reached a maximum altitude of 332 miles and flew just 316 miles. That flight distance and altitude correspond to the characteristics of a medium-range ballistic missile, not an ICBM, the ministry said.

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    Tags:
    ICBM, threat, James Clapper, Democratic Republic of North Korea (DPRK), Russia, United States
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