UN Security Council to meet Tuesday on North Korea missile launch

Henrietta Strickland
May 15, 2017

The intention of the launch was to verify its capability to carry a "large scale heavy nuclear warhead".

"The United States and Japan requested an urgent session on the North's missile launch, and Uruguay, which holds this month's Security Council, chose to hold a meeting Tuesday, the reports said".

The launch early on Sunday took place at a region, named Kusong, where the North previously test-launched an intermediate-range missile it is believed to be developing.

Given its altitude, "the range is considerably longer than the estimated range of the Musudan missile, which showed a range of about 3,000 km [1,864 miles] in a test past year", wrote David Wright of the Union of Concerned Scientists in a blog post on Sunday.

"It is possibly a new type of missile", Japanese Defense Minister Tomomi Inada said.

KCNA said the launch was "conducted at the highest angle in consideration of the security of neighboring countries". It flew for 30 minutes, or 700km reaching a height of more than 2000km, before dropping into the sea.

Tensions have mounted in recent months after the Trump administration said it would keep "all options on the table" to halt North Korea's nuclear weapons program, including a military strike.

"Russia has until now shown no signs of wanting to get on board with tougher sanctions", Graham said.

North Korean engineers "may well be able to draw warhead re-entry data from that which is applicable to their ICBM ambitions", he said.

The North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD) determined the missile launch from North Korea did not pose a threat to North America, Shuford said.

"We can not fail to understand that the territory of Russian Federation is not only an object for attack but also a place where a missile may fall".

How are US-North Korea relations?

"We keep our door open for dialogue with North Korea, but we must act decisively against North Korean provocations so that it will not miscalculate", Moon was quoted as saying by his office, according to the New York Times.

Attending the forum, Italian Prime Minister Paolo Gentiloni, who is expected to discuss North Korea with other leaders of the G7 industrialised nations in Sicily later this month, said the worldwide response needed to be diplomatic but firm."We don't see these actions as whims or local eccentricity, it is a serious problem for global stability and security and I'm convinced that the G7 will contribute, in a friendly way, to resolving the issue", Gentiloni told SkyTG24 television. Trump has vowed not to let that happen.

Moon said he deeply regrets Pyongyang's latest provocation. Trump has also said he'd be "honored" to talk with leader Kim Jong Un under favorable conditions. The White House's statement also had harsh words for North Korea. Delegations from Washington, Seoul and Pyongyang are gathering in Beijing on Sunday to attend China's new Silk Road forum, its biggest diplomatic event of the year.

But multiple sets of United Nations and USA sanctions against North Korea have done little to deter its pursuit of its nuclear and missile ambitions.

North Korea could have had another reason to fire the missile so close to Russian Federation, said Peter Layton, a visiting fellow at the Griffith Asia Institute in Brisbane, Australia.

"The North wants to show before negotiations that their precious, powerful weapon is not something they would give up so easily", Yang said.

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe told reporters that the launch was "absolutely unacceptable" and that Japan would respond resolutely.

North Korea has fired an unidentified projectile from a region near its west coast, South Korea's military says.

President Donald Trump was briefed on the missile test, according to a statement the White House released late Saturday.

The launch is a test for South Korea's new president, Moon Jae-in, with barely a week on the job.

"The North is apparently trying to test Moon and see how his North Korea policy as well as policy coordination between the South and the U.S. will take shape", said Yang Moo-Jin, professor at the University of North Korea Studies in Seoul. "South Korea and Japan have been watching this situation closely with us", Spicer added. It follows a failed April 29 ballistic missile test by Pyongyang.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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