North Korean leader Kim Jong Un has claimed his country could strike any target in the US after its latest intercontinental ballistic missile test. How true are his claims, and what actually is the reach of these ICBMs?
Kim, announcing the second intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) test, said it demonstrated that North Korea could launch “at any place and time.” The KCNA also quoted him as saying that “the test confirmed all the US mainland is within our striking range.”
But should these claims be taken seriously? Can North Korean ICBMs really strike any target in the US? After all, North Korean leaders are known for exaggerating their nuclear and missile program achievements.
But it seems that Pyongyang is not entirely incorrect about its ICMB claims.
Military analysts say the latest North Korean ballistic missile appeared to have a range of around 10,000 kilometers (6,200 miles), which would put the US mainland within its reach.
“Based on current information, today’s missile test by North Korea could easily reach the US West Coast, and a number of major US cities,” arms expert David Wright of the Union of Concerned Scientists said on his blog.
Los Angeles, Denver and Chicago appear to be well within range of the ICBM, which may also be capable of hitting Boston and New York, Wright said.
North Korean officials said the latest missile had flown for 47 minutes and reached an altitude of more than 3,700 kilometers. On a standard trajectory, the missile would have a range of 10,400 kilometers.
According to the Union of Concerned Scientists, North Korea launched its missile on a high trajectory to allow it to fall into the Sea of Japan rather than fly over Japan. However, it was still possible to calculate the range.
If fired eastward, the rotation of the Earth could also increase the range of the missile, meaning the missiles have different ranges depending on the direction they are fired in.
ICBM THREAT AND NORTH KOREA’S OVERALL MILITARY STRENGTH
US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson confirmed Tuesday that North Korea test launched an intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) for the first time. Testing an ICBM marks a major military achievement for Pyongyang and a serious escalation of tensions with the United States and its allies in the region, particularly South Korea and Japan.
Los Angeles is at a distance of 9,500 kilometers from North Korea, and the calculated range of the missile toward the city is 11,700 kilometers, according to the Union of Concerned Scientists. If fired in the direction of Boston, the missile range would be 10,750 kilometers – still just about enough to reach the city.
New York would also be roughly in range, but Washington DC would probably be just outside the strike area.
The organization stressed that the missile range also depends on the mass of the payload it carries. A heavier payload than that used in the test flight might mean the range would be reduced.
North Korea confirms firing of another missile towards Japan
Leader Kim Jong-Un has claimed the missile test demonstrated North Korea’s ability to strike any target in the United States. China condemned the intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) test and urged restraint. (29.07.2017)
North Korea’s war of words with the world
The global community loudly criticizes Kim Jong-un’s regime over its nuclear and missile programs. But Pyongyang, using its state news agency KCNA, accuses other nations of hypocrisy. Julian Ryall reports. (27.07.2017)
What is an intercontinental ballistic missile?
The United States has confirmed North Korea test launched an ICBM. So what actually is an ICBM? And how far can they travel? (04.07.2017)
Rockets boost North Korean economy
Despite global sanctions over its weapons programs, North Korea’s economy grew at its fastest pace in 17 years thanks to a jump in exports and increased production in mining and other industries. (21.07.2017)
North Korean ICBM Appears Able to Reach Major US Cities
North Korean ICBM Appears Able to Reach Major US Cities
The self-professed white supremacist who admits to traveling to New York specifically to kill black men is facing terrorism charges after fatally stabbing a black man with a sword. He also faces a hate crime charge for the murder.
On Monday, Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus R. Vance, Jr. announced the indictment of James Jackson, 28, who is being charged with first and second-degree murder as an act of terrorism, as well as second-degree murder as a hate crime and three counts of criminal possession of a weapon.
“James Jackson prowled the streets of New York for three days in search of a black person to assassinate in order to launch a campaign of terrorism against our Manhattan community and the values we celebrate,” Vance said.
Jackson, an Army veteran living in Baltimore, allegedly took the bus to New York City, where he stalked several black men with the aim of killing them. However, sources who saw footage of Jackson stalking one black man say he got “spooked” by his potential victim.
“He appeared to be very close, following a black guy,” a law enforcement source told the New York Daily News. “He slows down and at one point he turned around and came back. It’s clear he was really focused on the guy for some time. Then, he falls out of camera view and doesn’t attack the guy. He made statements that he was following the guy but something spooked him.”
In the Monday press release, the Manhattan DA said Jackson chose to travel to New York because it is “the media capital of the world, and a place where people of different races live together and love one another.”
“James Jackson wanted to kill black men, planned to kill black men, and then did kill a black man. We must never take for granted New York’s remarkable diversity. We must celebrate it, protect it, and refuse to let violence and hate undermine the progress we have made as a city, a state, and a nation,” Vance said.
On March 20, Jackson found Timothy Caughman, 66, gathering plastic bottles for recycling. Jackson stabbed Caughman in the back and chest with an 18-inch blade several times. Caughman managed to stumble into the Midtown South Precinct station house on West 35th Street, where paramedics rushed him to Bellevue Hospital. He later died from his injuries.
More than 24 hours later, Jackson walked into an NYPD station in Times Square and surrendered himself to the police. He admitted to killing Caughman and said he did it because of his deep-seated rage against black men. Jackson also informed police that he was a member of a white supremacist group.
Jackson was sent to Rikers Island, where he had an interview with New York Daily News on Sunday.
He said he intended for the first murder to be “a practice run.” But after killing Caughman, Jackson says he got “depressed.”
“I saw it was too late. It’s irreversible,” he said, adding, “I didn’t want to put my family through any more pain.”
Jackson told reporters that he wished he would have rather killed “a young thug” or “a successful older black man with blondes … people you see in Midtown.”
“I’m sorry I killed that man,” Jackson said. “It was pitch black, I picked a dark place. I didn’t know he was elderly.”
Jackson said he originally planned to kill multiple black men in order to deter white women from interracial relationships. He hoped that white women would see the crimes he committed, and think to themselves, “‘Well, if that guy feels so strongly about it, maybe I shouldn’t do it.’”
New York Mayor Bill de Blasio called Jackson’s alleged crimes “domestic, racist terrorism.”
“More than an unspeakable human tragedy, this is an assault on what makes this the greatest city in the world: our inclusiveness and our diversity,” de Blasio said in a statement released Thursday. “Now it’s our collective responsibility to speak clearly and forcefully in the face of intolerance and violence — here or across the country. We are a safe city because we are inclusive. We are a nation of unrivaled strength because we are diverse. No act of violence can undermine who we are.”
Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams said that Jackson’s crimes need to be “treated the same way as we treat ISIS,” according to New York Daily News.
Jackson says that he doesn’t understand how the hate crime charge applies to him.
“I don’t hate anyone I don’t think is on my level,” he said during the interview with the New York Daily News.
NOW PLAYINGWinter storm watch in effect for northeast
Forecasters said Sunday there’s a blizzard watch for coastal regions including New York City and Boston for Monday night into Tuesday.
National Weather Service officials said there also is a winter storm watch for a larger area that includes much of New Jersey, Pennsylvania, upstate New York and New England.
The severe weather comes just a week after the region saw temperatures climb into the 60s. The chilly weather and snow some areas got on Friday is expected to be just a teaser.
“It’s a noticeable difference. It’s going to be a cold week,” said Brian Hurley, a meteorologist at the weather service’s Weather Prediction Center in Maryland.
The blizzard watch for the New York metro area encompasses New York City along with Long Island, coastal Connecticut and southern Westchester County.
Carlie Buccola, a weather service meteorologist based on Long Island, said a snowfall of 12 to 18 inches is predicted for the area along with sustained winds up to 30 mph with gusts up to 50 mph. Visibility could be a quarter mile or less, Buccola said.
New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced Sunday that the New York State Emergency Operations Center will be activated Monday evening, with stockpiles of sandbags, generators and pumps at the ready.
The lower Hudson Valley and northeastern New Jersey could also get 12 to 18 inches of snow, Buccola said. The blizzard watch is not extended to those areas because high winds and low visibility are not expected.
Southern Rhode Island and coastal Massachusetts could possibly receive those blizzard conditions.
Washington is not officially under a winter storm watch but Hurley said the city could get 4 to 8 inches of snow.
After two straight years of #OscarsSoWhite, there are six black nominees and one of Asian heritage this year in the four acting categories. Our Race/Related newsletter takes a closer look, and includes a new short documentary that was a prize winner at the Sundance Film Festival.
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• The Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, Spain, this week will unveil smartphones, tablets and technology that showcase the increasing overlap of telecommunications, news media and technology. Huawei’s P10 is scoring positive reviews.
•Iraqi forces fighting the Islamic State pushed deeper into western Mosul, aiming to capture a bridge across the Tigris from government-held territory on the eastern bank. [Reuters]
• U.S. Defense Secretary Jim Mattis must balance pragmatism with Mr. Trump’s extreme impulses as he submits his plan for defeating the Islamic State to the president this week. [The New York Times]
• Tunisia, which has seen more jihadists leave to join the Islamic State than any other country, fears their return as the militant group suffers defeats in Iraq and Syria. [The New York Times]
• China first overseas military base is taking shape in the Horn of African, just a few miles from one of the Pentagon’s largest foreign installations. [The New York Times]
• Fishing boats returned to a port in Fukushima, Japan, for the first time since the 2011 tsunami and nuclear disaster. [The Asahi Shimbun]
• The police in Taiwan raided a dried tofu factory and rescued four migrant workers — two Indonesians, a Vietnamese and a Filipino — who had been held against their will for up to 14 years. [Taiwan News]
• Manny Pacquiao of the Philippines will defend his world welterweight title in a “super fight” against Amir Khan of Britain, on April 23. [ESPN]
• China’s latest internet phenomenon is a 94-year-old “kung fu grandma” in rural Zhejiang Province. [BBC]
The beginnings of a revolution in archaeology started on this day in 1940, when a pair of scientists, Martin D. Kamen and Samuel Ruben, confirmed the existence of carbon-14.
A few years later, another scientist, Willard Libby, figured out how to use the isotope to determine the age of fossils and other natural artifacts.
At death, the carbon-14 in living creatures begins to decay. The rate is predictable, so the amount that remains, calculated with a number of other factors, can set relatively precise ages up to about 50,000 years.
Libby won a Nobel Prize in Chemistry for radiocarbon dating, but tragedy struck Ruben. In 1943, he died in a laboratory accident.
For Kamen, a dinner with two Soviet officials in 1944, when he was working on the Manhattan Project, set off rumors that he was a spy.
He lost his job at the University of California, Berkeley, but was eventually able to teach again. One of his last positions was as emeritus professor at U.C. San Diego, where he had helped found the chemistry department decades earlier.
New York’s mayor says he has told US President-elect Donald Trump people in the city are “fearful” of what his White House administration could bring.
During a meeting at Trump Tower, Bill de Blasio said he warned the Republican he would aim to shield undocumented immigrants from deportation.
He said Mr Trump’s plans would not work in “the ultimate city of immigrants”.
Mr Trump wants to deport or jail up to three million undocumented immigrants who he says have criminal records.
This figure is much disputed. The Migration Policy Institute, a nonpartisan think tank, estimates there are actually about 820,000 undocumented immigrants with criminal records, including many whose only conviction is for crossing the border illegally.
Mr de Blasio is not the only city leader to oppose the incoming US president’s immigration policies.
The mayors of Los Angeles, San Francisco, Chicago, Boston, Philadelphia and Washington DC have also vowed to protect their immigrant residents from deportation.
In other developments:
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has rebuked anti-Trump protesters in the US, saying: “Hold on a second. The election process just ended, show some respect! How will he govern, let’s see that first”
The president of the Czech Republic said he hopes Mr Trump’s ex-wife, Ivana, will become the new US ambassador after the socialite expressed interest in taking up the post in her Eastern European motherland
Mr De Blasio vowed after Mr Trump’s election victory to delete the names of undocumented workers from a city database to prevent them from being rounded up.
The New York mayor, a liberal Democrat, told reporters his hour-long meeting with Mr Trump had been “respectful” and “candid”.
“I reiterated to him that this city and so many cities around the country will do all we can to protect our residents and to make sure that families are not torn apart,” he told reporters.
He added that New York – home to nearly three times the national average of foreign born citizens – “has succeeded because it was open for everyone, the place built of generation after generation of immigrants”.
But Mr de Blasio also said Mr Trump “loves” his hometown, which voted by a large margin for the Democratic candidate, Hillary Clinton.
As he toured Athens, birthplace of democracy, Mr Obama added: “As long as we retain our faith in the people, as long as we don’t waver from those central principles that ensure a lively, open debate, then our future will be ok.”
“Of course we should have started much earlier, we should have prevented Srebrenica, we should have prevented the Rwandan genocide. In Aleppo, we’re doing our utmost efforts,” said UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon.
Ban told DW host Michel Friedman that “the future of one person, like President Assad, should not block this process.” Asked if he considered Assad a mass murderer, Ban said that that was for other institutions to decide but added: “It’s true that because of his failure of leadership so many people have died, more than 300,000 people have been killed.”
Rescue team in Aleppo
The UN Secretary-General said that “the United States and Russia are also working very hard” to improve the situation in Syria. On diplomatic relations between Russia and the US he said: “Their relationship has been a little sensitive. I have urged Secretary Kerry and the Russian side to restore the cessation of hostilities, so we can deliver life-saving humanitarian assistance. We have to deliver a minimum for the five million people who are in besieged areas and hard-to-reach areas.”
On whether Russia is part of the problem or the solution in Syria, Ban Ki-moon said: “As a secretary general, I’m not here to make any determinations on who is wrong or who is right.”
Ban urged the UN member states “to fully abide by human rights principles and the values of the United Nations. After all, the UN exists for the people. We are serving the people.” He admitted that “there are some areas where the UN can improve its effectiveness and efficiencies.” However, crises and conflicts in Srebrenica, Darfur, Rwanda and Aleppo would have been even worse if the UN did not exist, he said. “If we didn’t have the United Nations at this time, the situation [in Aleppo] would have been much more tragic, much more bloody.”
UN Security Council in New York
On the future of the UN Security Council, Ban said: “Considering the tremendous changes which are taking place in this world, it’s natural that the member states want to see a Security Council mostly responsible for international peace and security; more democratic, more transparent, more representative, so that they can effectively address international peace and security concerns. But unfortunately, member states have not been able to agree on anything including the size or formation of how this is possible.”
Ban Ki-moon, born in South Korea in 1944, has been UN Secretary-General since 2007. When he retires in 2017, he will be succeeded by Antonio Guterres, former Portuguese prime minister and UN High Commissioner for Refugees.
Renowned journalists Tim Sebastian and Michel Friedman take turns in presenting DW’s top political talk show “Conflict Zone” with German and international decision-makers. The program airs every Wednesday at 17.30 UTC and is available online on demand.
The weekend’s revelations about Donald Trump’s sexually aggressive boasts overshadowed comments he made last week about the 1989 Central Park Five case. This deserves more attention.
Last week, just before the explosive ‘hot mic’ tape upheaved the Republican nominee’s campaign, Mr Trump told CNN he still believes the Central Park Five are guilty, despite DNA evidence.
“They admitted they were guilty. The police doing the original investigation say they were guilty. The fact that that case was settled with so much evidence against them is outrageous,” he said in a statement to the network.
The Central Park Five were five teenagers, aged 15 to 18, who were arrested and convicted in the 1989 beating and rape of a 28-year-old female jogger in Central Park, New York City.
The woman, Trisha Meili, nearly died of her injuries and remained in a coma for 12 days. The teenagers were black or Hispanic. Meili was white.
The heinous attack was committed while New York City was in the throes of a crack epidemic and the number of homicides were reaching all-time highs.
In this climate, and in response to the attack, Donald Trump – then known only as the flashy real estate developer who had just purchased the Taj Mahal Casino in Atlantic City – took out a full-page ad in four New York newspapers.
“Bring back the death penalty. Bring back our police!” the ad read.
“I want to hate these murderers and I always will. I am not looking to psychoanalyse or understand them, I am looking to punish them,” he continued.
“Civil liberties end when an attack on our safety begins!”
Then, in 2002, a new investigation revealed that serial rapist and convicted murderer Matias Reyes had actually committed the crime.
He confessed he had acted alone. DNA evidence confirmed his account.
They told harrowing tales of their time in police custody and behind bars.
Nevertheless, Mr Trump has never apologised for his ads or acknowledged the existence of the true perpetrator.
To this day, he insists the Central Park Five are guilty.
Soon after Mr Trump made the statement to CNN, the Washington Post broke the story of the Republican nominee bragging as he filmed a 2005 segment for Access Hollywood that he could grab women’s genitals.
In the ensuing uproar, the Central Park Five comments were lost.
With them went an opportunity to carefully examine why Mr Trump refuses to accept the exonerations of the five men, and what implications that has for a Trump presidency.
There were no questions about it at the Sunday debate.
However, many prominent observers want the moment marked.
“Apparently Mr Trump is unfamiliar with the concept of wrongful conviction,”tweeted documentarian Ken Burns, who made a critically acclaimed film about the bungled investigation and prosecution of the five boys.
“He should be apologising for calling for their death, not claiming they’re guilty,”tweeted California Lieutenant Governor Gavin Newsom. “This is not ‘law and order’.”
Some, like the Washington Post’s Eugene Robinson, called Mr Trump’s stance blatantly racist.
“For young African American and Latino men, Trump has a clear and ominous message: You must be guilty of something. Not even scientific proof can convince him otherwise,” Robinson wrote.
“If that is not racism, the word has no meaning.”
Mr Trump’s refusal to acknowledge his mistake is even more puzzling given that there is nothing particularly partisan to dig into here.
Both Republicans and Democrats say that the country is in need of criminal justice reform, and the existence of false confessions has been proven time and time again through DNA evidence.
It seems that as the “law and order” candidate, Mr Trump believes there can be no acknowledgment of past mistakes.
As Vox’s Victoria Massie writes, “by refusing to recognise when the law has wronged citizens, he sets a dangerous message that justice is not necessary to maintain social order”.
This is also the candidate who praised the New York City Police Department’s use of stop-and-frisk policing, a technique that a judge deemed unconstitutional because a disproportionate number of those who were stopped were black and Hispanic.