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Russia submits North Korea missile data to U.N.

By Elizabeth Shim
Russia submits North Korea missile data to U.N.
A handout photo made available by the official North Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) allegedly shows the North Korean inter-continental ballistic rocket Hwasong-14 being prepared before a test launch on July 4. Moscow claims the projectile is a midrange missile. File Photo by KCNA/EPA

July 10 (UPI) -- Russia has submitted documents proving the North Korea projectile launched last week was an intermediate-range missile.

Russia's state-run Tass news agency reported the proof was submitted to the United Nations secretariat and contradicts U.S. and South Korea findings that show the Hwasong-14 rocket is an intercontinental ballistic missile, capable of reaching the U.S. mainland.

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According to Tass, the Russian documents submitted to the United Nations on Saturday stated the Voronezh radar base in Irkutsk, Russia, tracked the launched of a North Korea midrange ballistic missile on July 4.

Missile flight time was 14 minutes, the maximum altitude reached was 332 miles and flight distance was 317 miles, Russia stated.

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Based on the data, the Hwasong-14 is a midrange missile that can hit targets within a 1,240-mile range.

Russia's proof includes a map of the missile flight path.

The move comes after Russia's deputy U.N. Ambassador Vladimir Safronkov said at the U.N. Security Council Moscow's data indicate North Korea launched a midrange projectile, and not an ICBM.

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U.S. Ambassador to the U.N. Nikki Haley challenged the claim.

"Not only has the secretary-general said this was an ICBM and the United States has said this is an ICBM. North Korea has said this is an ICBM. So if you need any sort of intelligence to let you know that the rest of the world sees this as an ICBM, I'm happy to provide it," Haley said.

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Russia blocked a U.N. statement urging North Korea sanctions.

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The report also calls into question North Korea claims. Pyongyang stated last week the Hwasong-14 flew 580 miles at a maximum altitude of 1,740 miles, and claimed the launch was a "successful" demonstration of ICBM capability.

The claim, if true, means the Hwasong-14's range exceeds 4,900 miles if fired from a normal angle.

ICBMs must have a minimum range of 3,400 miles.

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