Published: Tue, May 23, 2017
World | By Paul Elliott

North Korea says latest missile test 'perfect'

North Korea says latest missile test 'perfect'

North Korean leader Kim Jong-un has approved the deployment of a new medium to long-range ballistic missile for military use following a "successful" test, the country's official media said Monday. Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, center, speaks to reporters on the latest missile launch test by North Korea, at his official residence in Tokyo Sunday, May 21, 2017.

North Korea is banned by the United Nations from testing nuclear weapons or missile technology and is already subject to multiple global sanctions.

U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said Sunday it was too early to know if the worldwide pressures being exerted on North Korea to discourage its weapons programs were having an impact.

North Korea on Sunday fired a midrange ballistic missile, U. North Korea on Sunday fired a midrange ballis. South Korea's Joint Chiefs of Staff said it flew eastward about 500 kilometers, or 310 miles.

South Korea's new President Moon Jae-In called a National Security Council meeting in response to the latest launch, Yonhap news agency reported.

KCNA said the test "aimed to finally verify all the technical indexes of the weapon system and thoroughly examine its adaptability under various battle conditions, before its deployment at military units for action".

The rocket appeared to have the characteristics of a Pukguksong 2, a medium-range ballistic missile fired for the first time by North Korea on Feberuary 12.

The council diplomats say the closed discussion was requested by the United States, Japan and South Korea and will take place Tuesday. The Hwasong-12 missile travelled around 700 km for 30 minutes before it landed in water 100 km south of Russia's Vladivostok region, the home of the Russian Pacific Fleet. The diplomats spoke on condition of anonymity because the meeting has not been officially announced.

Kim also said "this type of missile should be rapidly mass-produced in a serial way to arm the Korean People's Army Strategic Force".

Pyongyang has long had missiles that can reach targets across South Korea and Japan. Its two nuclear tests previous year may have improved its ability to make nuclear weapons small enough to fit on long-range missiles.

The repeated tests of weapons of mass destruction by Pyongyang have caused Washington to toughen its rhetoric since the inauguration of President Donald Trump, whose administration has suggested the possibility of staging a preemptive attack on North Korea, substantially increasing tensions on the Korean Peninsula. The U.S. military tracked the missile before it fell into the sea.

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