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SEOUL, August 29. /TASS/. North Korea’s new missile launch was aimed at proving that the country’s missiles are capable of reaching the Island of Guam, where a US military base is located, South Korean expert on the North Korean nuclear program Maeng Ju-seok told TASS on Tuesday.
"It is clear that the North wants to prove that its threat to target Guam was not a mere bluff," he said. "Judging by the first reports, the missile flew 2,700 kilometers, which is enough to reach the US Guam base," he added. However, in Maeng Ju-seok’s words, Pyongyang decided to refrain from provoking Washington so it fired the missile in another direction, making it clear that the missile was actually capable of reaching Guam.
The expert pointed out that North Korea had once again showed its intention "to complete the process of nuclear capacity building at all cost in order to have a card up its sleeve in case talks with the US and their allies take place." "Pyongyang believes that if it is capable of carrying out a nuclear strike on the US mainland, then Washington will not dare to trigger a conflict," Maeng Ju-seok added.
According to him, North Korea considers this strategy to be the guarantee of its security, so it is unwilling to discuss the possibility of denuclearization at this particular moment. "I think, dialogue will become possible only after the North completes its nuclear missile program," the South Korean expert said. "It is only then that bargaining may begin because Pyongyang won’t be satisfied with any kind of freeze."
On Tuesday, North Korea launched another ballistic missile which flew over northwestern Japan, presumably plunging into the Pacific Ocean about 1,180 km east of the Hokkaido Island’s Cape Erimo. According to the South Korean military, the missile flew about 2,700 kilometers reaching an altitude of 550 kilometers.