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How real is the threat of North Korea's new missile?

Defence expert describes what we know so far about the new ballistic 'Hwasong-12'

How real is the threat of North Korea's new missile?

North Korea has said that the rocket it fired early on Sunday, was a new ballistic missile called the Hwasong-12. Defence expert Melissa Hanham explains what it tells us about Pyongyang's military strides.

Sunday's missile launch was a successful one and it demonstrated North Korea's longest-range nuclear-capable weapon yet.

Accompanying photographs showed it to be the same missile on parade last month at a massive military parade to mark the birth anniversary of North Korea's founding father Kim Il-sung.

Current leader Kim Jong-un was on-site according to photos released from North Korean state media KCNA and Rodong Sinmun.

In the hours afterwards, the statistics of the launch perplexed some observers, even to the point of questioning the data.

With tensions high, US Pacific Command was careful to categorise the flight as "not consistent with an intercontinental ballistic missile", which is - in short - one which could reach the US mainland.

One step further

This "mystery" missile is now revealed to be a powerful intermediate range missile, which North Korea claims can deliver a large and heavy nuclear warhead.

This article continues at [BBC] What do we know about North Korea's new missile?

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