No missile threat to central Pacific yet, but other threats remain

ʻOku ʻi he konga taupotu ki lalo ʻosi e ongongó ni ha fakamatala ʻi he lea faka-Tongá

North Korea has not yet threatened to aim any missiles at the central Pacific islands, but other threats remain, a US delegation has warned.

The delegation from the United States told the Pacific Leaders Forum meeting in Samoa earlier this month it was working to defuse tensions on the Korean Peninsula.

However, the delegation said there were multiple threats to the region, including drug smuggling and terrorist groups.

The Pacific Islands Forum described North Korea’s threat to fire missiles at Guam as a  threat to the wider Pacific Islands region.

Guam is close to Pacific island nations such as Palau and the Micronesian nations such as the Federated States of Micronesia and the Republic of the Marshall Islands.

The Forum said it was important to fully implement implement UN Security Council Resolutions against North Korea.

The Communist dictatorship fired another missile last week.

According to the prestigious defence publication Janes, the missile flew over northern Japan before falling into the Pacific.

The UK Ministry of Defence said the missile, which flew over Cape Erimo and the Oshima Peninsula, reached an altitude of approximately 800 km and travelled a linear distance of 3700 km.

This was far enough to potentially reach the US island territory of Guam,  which Pyongyang has described as “an advanced base of invasion.”

American military bases occupy nearly 30 per cent of Guam’s land, including the Andersen Air Force Base and the Naval Base Guam.

The US island territory is also home to a host of nuclear bombers.

There are about 6000 US military personnel on the island.

After an earlier launch, experts estimated that if the missile had been launched at a “normal” angle, instead of the steep trajectory used in the test, it could have flown more than 6000 kilometres, a distance that would have allowed it to hit the US mainland and Hawai’i.

The missile could also have reached Darwin in Australia’s Northern Territory, which is home to a US Marine Corps base.

The New Zealand government said in May that it had concluded that North Korea did not have the capability of striking New Zealand.

The  main points

  • North Korea has not threatened to aim any missiles at the central Pacific islands, but they face other threats, a US delegation has warned.
  • The delegation told the Pacific Leaders Forum meeting in Samoa earlier this month there were multiple threats to the region, including drug smuggling and terrorist groups.
  • The Pacific Islands Forum described North Korea’s threat to fire missiles at Guam as a threat to the wider Pacific Islands region.
  • The Communist dictatorship fired another missile last week.

For more information  

North Korea claims ICBM launch, bringing US and Darwin within range

North Korea test-fires another ballistic missile that overflies Japan

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