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North Korea Crisis

North Korea makes leap in missile range

But experts say further tests needed to perfect nuclear warhead

SOTARO SUZUKI, Nikkei staff writer | North Korea

SEOUL -- North Korea's new and improved ballistic missile shows the country's weapons development is proceeding swiftly despite international pressure, though experts say a fully functional nuclear-tipped deterrent remains a long way off.

North Korea labeled the rocket launched early Wednesday morning a Hwasong-15 intercontinental ballistic missile in a statement released later in the day. The lofted trajectory, which sacrifices range for height, took it to a maximum altitude of 4,475km, the statement said. The Hwasong-14 the North fired on July 28 reached as high as 3,724km.

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