Activists warn United States bringing nuclear war to Korea

Friday, 21 Oct, 2016

The launch happened hours after South Korea and the U.S. agreed to step up efforts to counter the nuclear threat posed by the DPRK.

While the launch of the presumed Musudun intermediate-range ballistic missile failed immediately, "it signals their continued resolve to get this right", Thomas Karako, director of the Missile Defense Project at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, told Business Insider.

The launch came shortly after the United States and South Korea agreed in Washington to bolster military and diplomatic efforts to counter the North's nuclear and missile programmes, saying they posed a grave security threat.

North Korea is also pushing to develop a nuclear-armed long-range missile capable of reaching the USA mainland, although US and South Korean experts believe it doesn't now have such a weapon.

"We discussed a lot of options, including permanently deploying USA strategic assets on a rotational basis", Han said during a joint news conference with Carter at the Pentagon.

Kusong is near North Korea's Sohae Satellite Launch Station, also known as the Tongchang-ri Missile and Space Launch Facility: a ballistic missile and space vehicle launch site.

The South Korea defense minister stressed that North Korea "has been advancing its nuclear missile capabilities, publicly threatening the ROK and the USA, as well as the global community as a whole".

"The U.S. commitment to the defense of South Korea is unwavering". The military believes the launch was an attempt by the North to make up for its failure on Saturday.

At the same time as it has been honing its missile capabilities, Kim Jong-un's regime has advanced a nuclear program that has drawn censure and sanctions from the United Nations Security Council.

An anchor from North Korea's state-run Korean Central Television said that the North Korea will launch more satellites to "conquer" space, even if rival South Korea "barks" at the launches like a "mad dog".

South Korea and the United States will consider deploying US strategic military assets to the South permanently on a rotational basis to strengthen the U.S. "Any use of nuclear weapons will be met with an overwhelming and effective response".

The United States also plans to deploy the advanced Terminal High Altitude Area Defense, or THAAD, missile system to South Korea in order to protect against threats from Pyongyang.

China strongly opposes deployment of the USA system, saying it would impinge on its own strategic deterrence.

The talks are between Secretary of State John Kerry and Carter, and their South Korean counterparts Foreign Minister Yun Byung-se and Defense Minister Han Min-koo.

North Korea today conducted what appeared to be its second failed test in a week of a powerful medium-range missile that experts warn could be operationally deployed as early as next year.