US Experts Dispute Russia’s Claim That North Korea’s New Missile Not an ICBMJuly 13, 2017
WASHINGTON — Russia’s assessment of North Korea’s latest missile launch puzzles many U.S. experts, who say the Kremlin “mischaracterized” the nature of Pyongyang’s test, either as a result of technical flaws or possibly for political reasons.
According to Russian state-run media, Moscow’s U.N. mission submitted a letter to the U.N. Secretariat that described the North Korean projectile fired on July 4 as an intermediate-range rocket. That assessment is at odds with U.S., South Korean and Japanese findings that classified the Hwasong-14 as a long-range intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM).
China has not yet commented details of the rocket involved.
“A Voronezh-type radar station deployed in the Irkutsk region monitored the launch of the Hwasong-14 medium-range ballistic missile (IRBM) from North Korea, which flew a distance of 510 km in 14 minutes, reaching an altitude of 535 km, before landing in the Sea of Japan,” the Russian letter stated.
It followed a fierce U.N. Security Council debate last week, during which Moscow challenged Washington’s reference of the missile as an ICBM. This derailed efforts to reach a consensus among 15 council members on a press statement condemning North Korea for the launch…