China 'may back' new United Nations sanctions over North Korean missile test
18 May, 2017, 09:56 | Author: Jonathon Greene
The North's state-run media agency said Sunday's test involved a mid-to-long range ballistic missile that could be blasted off and out of the planet's atmosphere and then return, and quoted leader Kim Jong Un as saying the USA mainland is in "sighting range for a strike".
A "large-size heavy nuclear warhead" can fit on the Hwasong-12 missile launched near the city of Kusong in western North Korea, the state-run KCNA new service said.
Japanese officials said Sunday that the missile flew for a half-hour and reached an unusually high altitude before landing in the Sea of Japan.
North Korea has been developing an intercontinental ballistic missile that's said to be capable of carrying a nuclear warhead and reaching as far as the United States.
"It appears to have not only demonstrated an intermediate-range ballistic missile (IRBM) that might enable them to reliably strike the USA base at Guam, but more importantly, may represent a substantial advance to developing an intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM)", it said.
Experts have cast doubt on that claim, though they say the test still represented a significant step forward for Pyongyang's goal of developing an intercontinental ballistic missile capable of hitting the USA mainland.
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.
"We strongly protest against North Korea", he said.
North Korea says the missile was intentionally fired at a high angle out of consideration for its neighbors.
Ji also repeated an assertion by North Korean officials that Pyongyang has successfully foiled a CIA-backed plot to kill leader Kim Jong Un last month with a biochemical poison.
The country launched a new type of missile into the sea of Japan earlier this week, and South Korean Defence Minister Han Min-koo told Parliament the test was "successful in flight". The missile landed about 60 miles south of Russia's Vladivostok region, but Russian President Vladimir Putin said Monday that the test posed no immediate threat to his country.
Here's a closer look at what happened in Sunday's missile launch, which came only a few days after the inauguration of a new South Korean president, and why it's viewed as a worrying development by North Korea's neighbors and Washington.
The U.S. has always been skeptical that Pyongyang has the technology to mount a nuclear warhead.
The test was reportedly a successful mid-to-long range launch.
North Korea's latest ballistic missile test may be almost as big a deal as its propaganda machine claims.
Other experts quickly jumped on this as sign - although not conclusive - that North Korea may have been behind the outbreak.
"North Korea has been a flagrant menace for far too long", a statement released over the weekend said.
The UN Security Council will hold closed consultations about the launch on Tuesday afternoon.
"There is a fundamental understanding North Korea's nuclear and missile provocations pose a great threat to the peace and stability of the global community", Lee said.
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