Seoul, Washington have no plan to organize naval blockade of North Korea

From left to right Chief Warrant Officer 2 Nathan Gumm pilot Chief Warrant Officer 2 Eric Tirro co-pilot Spc. Carroll Moore crew chief Sgt. 1st Class Gopal Singh flight medic and Pfc. Karina Lopez radio operator pose at Camp Humphreys South Ko

The unit's goal is not necessarily the actual assassination of North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, but its name was chosen to show South Korea's military resolve.

After a 75-day pause, North Korea test-fired a Hwasong-15 intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) on Wednesday, which flew 13,000 km, and Pyongyang proclaimed it was capable of putting the whole of the USA mainland within its range.

But South Korea said it expected Pyongyang to now pause its provocative missile testing programme, after the success of its new Hwasong-15 missile that can fly far enough to hit the US mainland. However, North Korea still needs to prove some technologies, like re-entry, terminal stage guidance and warhead activation, said Yeo Suk-joo, deputy minister of defence policy at the defence ministry.

Earlier on Thursday, Pentagon Chief James Mattis said that the USA intends to "tirelessly" seek to resolve the North Korean nuclear issue with the help of the United Nations and will make diplomatic efforts to persuade Pyongyang to abandon the programs for the development of nuclear weapons and their means of delivery.

During their hour-long phone call on Thursday, Moon said he has reservations about North Korea's claims of a complete mastery of intercontinental ballistic missile technology.

During their talks, they shared the view that North Korea's repeated provocations pose a grave threat to the Korean Peninsula and global peace and security, it said.

"For now if there are no sudden changes in situation or external factors, we feel there is a high chance North Korea will refrain from engaging in provocations for a while", said Lee Yoo-jin, the ministry's deputy spokeswoman.


North Korea is known to test fewer missiles in the fourth quarter of the year, when troops are called to help with harvests and the cold strains its fuel supplies.

He, however, parried questions on Trump's tweet about more sanctions against North Korea.

Remarks are aimed at preventing US and North Korea from escalating tense situationAttention is focusing on the reasons why South Korean President Moon Jae-in told US President Donald Trump in a phone call on November 30 that North Korea's Hwasong-15 missile has not been completely developed.

Also, officials in president Moon Jae-in's office said they have not discussed any military options with Washington against North Korea, including a naval blockade.

North Korea will need to test the missile on a standard trajectory, not a lofted one, at least once or twice to validate its performance, and even more times to guarantee its reliability and accuracy.

The United Nations Security Council has unanimously imposed a set of sanctions against North Korea on September 11 over the country's hydrogen bomb test which was conducted on September 3.

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