New North Korean missile could reach Hong Kong, South claims

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 14 February, 2017, 11:03am
UPDATED : Tuesday, 14 February, 2017, 12:28pm

Officials from South Korea, the United States and Japan held a video conference Tuesday to discuss ways to cope with North Korea’s escalating missile threats, according to South Korea’s Defence Ministry.

The new type of missile launched on Sunday can hit targets more than 2,000km away – putting major cities like Tokyo, Seoul, Taipei and Hong Kong within its range – according to South Korea’s intelligence agency, the South’s Yonhap News Agency reported.

Hong Kong is about 2,150km from Pyongyang.

The solid-fuel missile, which the North said was an upgraded, extended range version of a submarine-launched missile, reached an altitude of about 550km and flew about 500km towards Japan before splashing into the sea east of the Korean peninsula.

During the hour-long video conference, senior defence officials from the three countries vowed to strengthen intelligence sharing on Pyongyang’s military threats.

North Korea said on Monday that leader Kim Jong-un hailed what he claimed was another way for the country to launch a nuclear attack.

In a related development, South Korea’s Defence Ministry, in a report to parliament on Tuesday, said South Korea and the United States plan to hold an annual joint military exercise next month on the largest-ever scale as a clear warning to North Korea.

The ministry’s report also said the two countries were considering whether US stealth fighters and nuclear-powered air craft carriers may take part in the exercise, known as the Key Resolve.

Additional reporting by Reuters