North Korea's Missile Program Is Progressing Faster Than Expected: South Korea

Amid growing tensions over Pyongyang's array of missile tests, Beijing in February banned imports of North Korean coal citing United Nations resolutions for all of its measures against North Korea Coal is North Korea's main export and an important source of foreign currencies for its economy and China is its major importer.

Russian President Vladimir Putin has condemned North Korea's latest test-firing of a ballistic missile.

The North has been working on a missile, mounted with a nuclear warhead, capable of striking the USA mainland.

Contained in the nonbinding press statement, which has to be approved by all members, is the emphasis the council places on the vital importance of the North "immediately showing honest commitment to denuclearization through concrete action" and the need to reduce tensions on the Korean Peninsula. In April the North put dozens of missiles on show at a giant military parade through the streets of Pyongyang, including one that appeared to be the type of device launched on Sunday.

North Korea has carried out a number of missile launches and nuclear tests in recent months, all of which are considered to be in violation with the UN Security Council resolution.

The Trump administration has made stopping the development of a North Korean ICBM a top priority, and stressed the US would consider military action to take out launching sites and nuclear facilities, if needed.

The U.S. ambassador to the U.N., Nikki Haley, said on ABC television that the United States has been working well with China and raised the possibility that new sanctions against North Korea could include oil imports. Pyongyang is threatening a sixth nuclear test.

Experts said Sunday's successful missile launch signals major advances in developing an intercontinental ballistic missile, such as mastery of re-entry technology and better engine performance.

The last set of sanctions, imposed in March, capped China's imports of North Korean coal, a key cash earner for North Korea.

A missile is being launched from an undisclosed location in North Korea on Sunday.

"But at the same time, we understand that what we have observed in the world recently, and specifically flagrant violations of worldwide law and incursions into the territory of foreign states, changes in regime, lead to such kinds of arms races".

The South Korean, Japanese and US militaries say the missile flew for half an hour and reached an unusually high altitude before landing in the Sea of Japan.

A closed-door emergency Council session was set for Tuesday.

Council diplomats say the United States and China, the North's closest ally, have been working on a new sanctions resolution.

"With the missile impacting so close to Russian soil - in fact, closer to Russia than to Japan - the president can not imagine that Russia is pleased", the statement added.

Pyongyang has conducted two nuclear tests and dozens of missile launches since the start of 2016, prompting the United Nations to adopt two sanction resolutions previous year to ramp up pressure on North Korea.

Tokyo said the flight pattern could indicate a new type of missile.

  • Salvatore Jensen