The US military has begun referring to the North Korean intercontinental ballistic missile launched Tuesday as a “KN 22” — a new designation signaling that the US is increasingly seeing the recent launch as involving a new type of ICBM, according to two US defense officials.
The two launches in July were categorized as KN-20s.
North Korea has said that Tuesday’s test involved a new type of ICBM — designated the Hwasong-15.
The missile was topped with a “super-large heavy warhead” and is capable of striking the US mainland, according to reports from North Korea’s state-run Korean Central News Agency.
The country’s state media made the announcement Wednesday, hours after leader Kim Jong Un ordered the 3 a.m. local time launch of the Hwasong-15 missile, which reached the highest altitude ever recorded by a North Korean missile.
State news agency KCNA called its so-called new missile “the most powerful ICBM” and said it “meets the goal of the completion of the rocket weaponry system development.”
“We need China to do more”
Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said Thursday that China “could do more with the oil” to help rein in North Korea after its latest launch of an intercontinental ballistic missile this week.
“We are really asking them please restrain more oil, not take it off completely — that was the most effective tool the last time North Korea came to the table was cutting the oil off,” Tillerson told reporters.
Tillerson’s remarks echo those made on Wednesday by US Ambassador to the UN Nikki Haley, who stressed that the nations of the world “have it within our power to further isolate, diminish and, God willing, reverse the dangerous course of the North Korean regime.”
Haley called on all nations to “cut off all ties with North Korea” and specifically highlighted China’s influence over the rogue regime during an emergency meeting of the UN Security Council.
“We need China to do more,” she said.
The US and China also engaged in low-key military talks in Washington on Wednesday at the National Defense University, according to Cmdr. John Fage.
“The engagement served as an opportunity to discuss how to manage crises, prevent miscalculations and reduce the risk of misunderstanding,” Fage said.
“It sought to build shared understanding on crisis concepts and management; promote existing US-China crisis management and communication; and identify areas for improving crisis management and communication between the two countries,” he added.