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(LEAD) U.S. still assessing N. Korea's purported ICBM test

All News 02:24 July 05, 2017

(ATTN: UPDATES with State Department comment; CHANGES headline)

WASHINGTON, July 4 (Yonhap) -- The United States is still assessing North Korea's latest missile launch, an official said Tuesday, after the communist nation claimed it successfully carried out its first test of an intercontinental ballistic missile capable of reaching the U.S.

"We're working with our Interagency partners on a more detailed assessment," an official at the State Department said in response to a request for comment on the North's missile launch earlier in the day. The official didn't elaborate.

(LEAD) U.S. still assessing N. Korea's purported ICBM test - 1

After launching a ballistic missile earlier Tuesday, the North claimed it succeeded in its first ICBM test, with the missile soaring as high as about 2,800 kilometers before landing at an East Sea target 930 kilometers away.

Officials in South Korea and Japan gave similar altitude and distance figures, raising the possibility that the North's claims could be true, though the U.S. Pacific Command initially identified the North's missile as an intermediate-range class.

CNN reported that U.S. national security, military and intelligence officials were to hold an unexpected meeting to discuss the launch, even though it's the Independence Day holiday, with a focus on assessing the missile's capability.

The U.S. government hasn't issued an official response to the launch yet, though President Donald Trump lamented the provocation in a Twitter posting late Monday.

"North Korea has just launched another missile. Does this guy have anything better to do with his life? Hard to believe that South Korea ... and Japan will put up with this much longer," Trump tweeted. "Perhaps China will put a heavy move on North Korea and end this nonsense once and for all!"


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