North Korea claims latest missile test successful, Defense Ministry shows skepticism

May 30, 2017, 06:04
North Korea claims latest missile test successful, Defense Ministry shows skepticism

The council urged North Korea to show "sincere commitment to denuclearization through concrete action" and stressed the importance of "working to reduce tensions".

North Korean state media said Monday that the missile Pyongyang test-fired a day earlier is a new weapon, able to carry a heavy nuclear warhead to unprecedented distances - possibly as far as USA soil.

The United Nations Security Council on Monday strongly condemned a weekend missile launch by North Korea.

Council diplomats say the USA and China, the North's closest ally, have been working on a new sanctions resolution.

North Korea earlier said the missile it had tested on Sunday was a new type of rocket capable of carrying a large nuclear warhead.

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The test comes just days after South Korea's new president took office and is seen by experts in the country as a test for its new leader. Pyongyang has since threatened a sixth.

"North Korea has been a flagrant menace for far too long..."

The initial assessment by USA intelligence is that the missile launched by North Korea was a KN-17, a medium range ballistic missile, according to two US officials.

"It is clear that North Korea is learning from those tests and improving their capabilities, with the ultimate goal of reaching the US homeland".

Called Hwasong-12, the new North Korean missile flew for 787km to an altitude of 2,111.5km, according to North Korean media, before landing near the coast of Japan, sparking immediate condemnation from Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe.

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Ji Jae Ryong told reporters Monday at the North Korean Embassy in Beijing that Pyongyang would continue to conduct launches in the future, as long as the country's supreme leader deemed necessary.

Russia, a onetime ally of North Korea, is a member of a six-nation consortium aimed at reining in the reclusive nation's nuclear program through diplomatic and financial incentives, but that forum has been inactive for almost a decade.

"We need to return to dialogue with North Korea and stop scaring it and find ways to resolve these problems peacefully, " he said.

"If (electrical) circuits break and a trigger device fails to detonate nuclear fuel, you can imagine that only some twisted metal will fall on Alaska or Hawaii, even if North Korea fires missiles at them", said Kim Dong-yub, an analyst at Seoul's Institute for Far Eastern Studies.

According to previous Security Council resolutions, the DPRK is banned from conducting any launches that use ballistic missile technology, nuclear tests or any other provocation.

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North Korea has been testing missiles for weeks, and the status of their nuclear weapons development program has been a source of questions and concern for years.

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