North Korea rocket raises nuclear stakes, poses threat to US: Analysts
SEOUL (AFP) - North Korea's rocket launch is evidence of a new ballistic missile capability that sharply raises the stakes over Pyongyang's nuclear programme and poses a direct threat to the United States, analysts say.
Although the isolated state faces a stiff technical challenge in shaping, fitting and accurately delivering a long-distance nuclear payload, Wednesday's launch marks a major upgrade of its potential strategic military ability.
"This launch certainly bolsters their credibility when they say that they have missiles that can strike the United States," said James Schoff, a senior associate at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace.
"It's harder to wave that off after a successful test like this," said Schoff, a former Pentagon official.