US plans first test of ICBM intercept, with NKorea on mind

The most recent test, in June 2014, was successful. Cooperation with Russian Federation and China is needed to resolve the crisis around North Korea's nuclear and ballistic missile programs, Japan's Prime Minister Shinzo Abe told a news conference at the end of two-day G7 summit in Taormina, Italy.

The North's official Korean Central News Agency reported that the Pukguksong-2 will now be produced and deployed throughout the country.

The reclusive state rejects United Nations and unilateral sanctions by other states against its weapons program as an infringement of its right to self defense and says the program is necessary to counter USA aggression. But many analysts say Moon won't likely push for any major rapprochement projects because North Korea has gone too far on its nuclear program.

The North has not yet tested an ICBM, but Kim Jong Un claimed January that his country was in the final stages of preparation for an ICBM test.

He has yet to test an intercontinental ballistic missile, or ICBM, but Pentagon officials believe he is speeding in that direction.

"President Trump and Prime Minister Abe agreed their teams would cooperate to enhance sanctions on North Korea, including by identifying and sanctioning entities that support North Korea's ballistic missile and nuclear programs", the White House said in a statement to Reuters.

North Korea is still thought to be several years away from its goal of being able to target USA mainland cities with a nuclear ICBM, but each new test puts it closer to success.

Appearing at a Senate hearing, Defense Intelligence Agency Director Vincent Stewart declined to offer a time estimate but Western experts believe the North still needed several years to develop such a weapon.

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