Could North Korea's Kim Jong Un Strike Alaska With A Nuclear Bomb?

The United States is also deploying an advanced missile- defence system in South Korea.

It launched four ballistic missiles from near its west coast on 6 March and this week conducted a rocket engine test that its leader, Kim Jong Un, said opened "a new birth" of its rocket industry.

The officials said the United States has increased surveillance over North Korea and has seen a missile launcher moving as well as construction of VIP seating in the eastern coastal city of Wonsan, according to the AP.

Earlier this month North Korea launched four ballistic missiles, which landed 190 miles from Japan, an indication North Korea was simulating a more sophisticated attack to overwhelm anti-ballistic missile systems in Japan.

"It is assessed that North Korea is ready to carry out a nuclear test anytime if its leadership decides to do so", Lee Duk-haeng, spokesman for South Korea's the Ministry of Unification, said in a press briefing.

"It may have exploded right after it took off from a launch pad", said military official, who declined to be identified.

According to ex-Foreign Ministry Director General Dore Gold, US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson's recent statement that two decades of worldwide diplomatic efforts had failed to stop the Pyongyang regime's nuclear and ballistic missile programs "not only made a splash in the Sea of Japan and in the Far East, they were very carefully noted in the Middle East, as well".

On Wednesday, Japan said that North Korea had again attempted a ballistic missile test.

Meeting in Seoul, Kim Hong-kyun, South Korea's special representative for Korean Peninsula peace and security affairs, and his USA counterpart Joseph Yun reaffirmed a commitment to push Kim harder to drop its push for nuclear weapons.

While this launch may not have been successful, this much is clear: North Korea is quickly becoming a major issue for President Trump and his administration.

Yukiya Amano, head of the International Atomic Energy Agency, told the Wall Street Journal the isolated state's nuclear capacities are being ramped up. The North carried out two nuclear tests previous year.

Seoul and Washington say the system is exclusively aimed at defending against the North's nuclear and missile threats.

South Korea's Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) said on Tuesday the two would conduct an in-depth discussion on ways to deal with the North Korean nuclear program.

The Security Council is strongly condemning North Korea's latest ballistic missile launch and engine test as "grave" violations of United Nations sanctions that contribute to development of its nuclear weapons delivery systems.

  • Leroy Wright