US, Japan request emergency UNSC session on North Korea

Pyongyang's state-run Korean Central News Agency on Monday called the regime's latest test-firing of its Hwaseong-12 ballistic missile a great success and also declared that the USA mainland is now within North Korea's striking range.

The test was "aimed at verifying the tactical and technological specifications of the newly developed ballistic rocket capable of carrying a large-size heavy nuclear warhead".

Sunday's success, according to Schilling, could mean that it might only take North Korea another year, rather than the five previously expected, to develop a working intercontinental ballistic missile capable of reaching the mainland United States - something that the country has long worked toward.

In an official statement, North Korea warned the USA against reckless provocations because the US mainland and America's allies in the region are within the missile's range. The missile flew for 787 kilometers before falling in the sea west of Japan, KCNA official news agency of the DPRK reported.

Western news agencies confirmed that the missile tested on Sunday was a new type of ballistic missile, meaning that this is a new threat to the U.S. mainland and the U.S. Pacific island of Guam.

The test prompted the United Nations Security Council to call for consultations on Tuesday afternoon.

The U.S. has always been skeptical that Pyongyang has the technology to mount a nuclear warhead.

North Korea successfully tested a medium range missile on May 14, 2017, identified by US officials as a KN-17.

A TV news program shows a graphic of a North Korean recent missile launch, at a railway station in Seoul, South Korea, May 14, 2017.

But South Korea's Joint Chiefs of Staff (JCS) expressed doubts whether the North has mastered the necessary atmospheric re-entry technology.

North Korea says the medium long-range strategic missile it tested over the weekend can carry a nuclear warhead.

The successful launch comes after a significant embarrassment for North Korea's military in April, when a missile test ended in the destruction of the entire weapon shortly after takeoff. North Korea time, from Kusong, an area not far from the border with China.

"We are categorically against the expansion of the club of nuclear powers", Putin told reporters after an worldwide forum in Beijing.

Jeffrey Lewis of the Middlebury Institute of International Studies in the USA told AFP: "This is the longest-range missile North Korea has ever tested".

Italian Premier Paolo Gentiloni said the G-7 summit his country is hosting later this month would discuss how to deal with the risk North Korea's missile launchings pose to global security.

South Korean President Moon, known for his open attitude toward dialog with the North, condemned the missile launch and convened his first National Security Council meeting over the issue.

The pride in North Korea contrasts with concern in Seoul, the capital of South Korea, which condemned Sunday's launch and called it a serious violation of United Nations.

What has North Korea been saying?

The 38 North analysis points out that the distance flown by the missile means it could strike a US military base at Guam.

South Korea's own defense ministry has responded to the report.

Choe Son-hui, a senior North Korean diplomat, said Saturday that Pyongyang would be willing to hold talks with Washington "under the right conditions".

  • Leroy Wright