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GOP senator: North Korea missile test 'one of most advanced yet'

May 18, 2017, 00:31
GOP senator: North Korea missile test 'one of most advanced yet'

The test is also an immediate challenge to South Korea's new president, Moon Jae-in, a liberal elected last week who expressed a desire to reach out to North Korea.

Trump also has flexed US military muscle, though with little apparent effect in deterring North Korean leader Kim Jong Un from his rapid tempo of weapons tests.

North Korea's ambassador to China says that Pyongyang's test-firing of a ballistic missile over the weekend is part of the country's efforts to develop ways to defend itself against hostile aggression overseas.

United States officials said the missile hit the water around 60 miles (around 100 kilometers) from eastern Russia's Vladivostok.

Some experts, including officials in Tokyo, estimate that Sunday's launch successfully tested a new type of missile, potentially the longest in North Korea's arsenal.

The missile seems to have been equipped with a new, high-powered engine that was tested at the Tongchang-ri launch pad in remote North Pyongan Province in mid-March.

It cited Kim as saying the North would never succumb to what it called the "highly ridiculous" USA strategy of "militarily browbeating only weak countries and nations which have no nukes".

New sanctions were expected to be discussed at a closed council meeting today, the diplomats said, speaking on condition of anonymity because talks have been private. The United States maintains our ironclad commitment to stand with our allies in the face of the serious threat posed by North Korea.

The session had been requested by the United States and Japan on Sunday, shortly after North Korea's test launch of an intermediate-range ballistic missile.

"Concern was expressed about the escalation of tension, including in connection with the launch (of the missile of the DPRK)", Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov was quoted as saying in Russian state media.

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Council members expressed "utmost concern" about the country's "flagrant and provocative defiance of the Security Council by conducting these ballistic missile launches in violation of its global obligations".

Meanwhile, Russian President Vladimir Putin said the USA needed to "stop scaring" the North Korean regime.

There's also a political victory for North Korea.

The Korean Central News Agency has called North Korea's new missile a "ground to ground medium to long-range ballistic missile". North Korea on Monday, May 1.

If it had been fired at a normal angle, analysts say, it could have flown much farther - estimates vary between 4,000 and 7,000 kilometers (2,500 and 4,350 miles), the upper number putting Alaska and possibly Hawaii within striking distance.

US President Donald Trump's administration has made North Korea a priority security issue.

Russian President Vladimir Putin called North Korea's latest missile test "counter-productive, harmful and unsafe".

North Korea is barred from ballistic missile technology under multiple Security Council resolutions. Pyongyang has since threatened a sixth.

North Korean leader Kim Jong-un hailed the launch on Sunday as a test of the "perfect weapon system" and capable of carrying "a large-size heavy nuclear warhead".

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