Published: Tue, May 16, 2017
World | By Paul Elliott

North Korea takes leap with missile test

North Korea takes leap with missile test

Under UN resolutions, North Korea is barred from developing nuclear and missile technology.

North Korea is barred from ballistic missile technology under multiple Security Council resolutions.

The North's KCNA news agency said Sunday's launch tested its capability to carry a "large-size heavy nuclear warhead."

South Korea's newly elected President Moon Jae-in, who is seeking deeper engagement with the North, said it was a "reckless provocation" while China, North Korea's only real ally, is urging restraint.

In a unanimous statement late Monday backed by China, the Council voiced "utmost concern" about Sunday's launch, described by Pyongyang as a mid-to-long range missile that traveled 787 kilometers (490 miles) before plunging into the Sea of Japan.

In April Pyongyang put dozens of missiles on show at a giant military parade through the capital, including one that appeared to be the type launched on Sunday. Traditionally, the United States and China have negotiated new measures before involving remaining council members.

The Council "vowed to fully implement all measures" imposed on the isolated island nation.

"There is no question that North Korea continues to threaten the United States and our allies, Japan, South Korea, and its neighbours, including both China and Russian Federation", the White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer told reporters at his daily news conference.

This picture taken on May 14, 2017 and released from North Korea's official Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) on May 15 shows North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un (3rd R) inspecting a ground-to-ground medium long-range strategic ballistic rocket Hwasong-12 at an undisclosed location.

Moon met Matt Pottinger, overseeing Asian affairs at the U.S. National Security Council, on Tuesday and said he hoped to continue to have "sufficient, close discussions" between Seoul and Washington, the Blue House press secretary told a briefing. According to US officials that in this weekend's test the KN-17 missile launched on a "lofted" vertical trajectory that sent it 1,200 miles (2,000 kilometers) in altitude.

Earlier, the French ambassador to the UN, Francois Delattre, said that the UNSC is looking into a possible expansion of sanctions, promising a "strong" and "swift" retaliation to North Korea's latest breach of global law.

The "lofted trajectory" of the latest ballistic missile and a Musudan medium-range ballistic missile fired in June 2016 poses a hard problem in terms of defense.

Several South Korean analysts, including Lee Illwoo, a Seoul-based commentator on military issues, said the missile flew higher and for a longer period than any other the North has ever test-fired.

"We consider that nuclear and missile tests are unacceptable", Putin said. But leader Kim Jong Un has promised a sixth nuclear test, warning that his country's weapons could strike the U.S. mainland.

He also said North Korea was making steady progress toward its technological goal of developing an ICBM.

"You first have to get into Kim Jong Un's head - which is, he's in a state of paranoia, he's incredibly concerned about anything and everything around him", Haley told ABC's "This Week" programme, referring to North Korea's leader.

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