Hwasong-12: North Korea's new missile has a terrifying range

May 30, 2017, 06:01
Hwasong-12: North Korea's new missile has a terrifying range

Most importantly, US officials say it appears to have been a test of a reentry vehicle, a key technology North Korea must master before it can develop an intercontinental ballistic missile capable of striking the United States mainland with a nuclear weapon.

In a unanimous statement backed by China, the council stressed the importance of North Korea "immediately showing honest commitment to denuclearization through concrete action".

The statement comes a day after North Korea tested a ballistic missile that it claimed could be mounted with a "large-sized nuclear warhead" and capable of reaching the continental United States and USA operations in the Pacific.

Since the last resolution, the harshest to date, was adopted in November, an emphasis has been put on having all countries implement the sanctions measures - including China, which is the North's closest ally and is accused of laxity with loopholes.

The U.N. council also plans to convene an emergency session Tuesday to discuss the North Korea issue at the request of the US and Japan.

North Korea on Sunday tested what appears to be its longest-range ballistic missile to date, saying it was capable of carrying a "heavy nuclear warhead".

Earlier on Monday at a daily news briefing, United Nations spokesman Stephane Dujarric called the latest missile launch by the DPRK a "violation of Security Council resolutions and a threat to peace and security in the region". Pyongyang claimed the test showed that it's capable of carrying a nuclear warhead.

Other experts quickly jumped on this as sign - although not conclusive - that North Korea may have been behind the outbreak.

The U.S. military said it detected the launch, and that flight data indicated it was not an intercontinental ballistic missile, or ICBM.

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Mr Schilling said the ability to hit Guam, 3,400km away, was not a game-changer, but that the new missile could be a step along the way.

In a unanimous statement 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 before plunging into the Sea of Japan.

UN Security Council's resolutions strictly forbid any activity on developing nuclear weapons and delivery vehicles on the part of the DPRK.

Its ambassador to China said in Beijing on Monday it would continue such test launches "any time, any place".

North Korea is under multiple sets of United Nations sanctions over its nuclear and missile programmes, which have triggered global alarm.

At a military parade to mark the 105th anniversary of the birth of North Korea's founder, Kim Il-sung, grandfather of Kim Jong-un, mysterious new weapons were proudly on show, causing speculation that the country may have developed already an ICBM.

Sunday's missile launch also tested the North's capability to carry a "large-size heavy nuclear warhead", the state news agency 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.

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