Return to path of denuclearization: United Nations to North Korea

On Sunday, North Korea test-launched a ballistic missile that flew, at a high trajectory, about 435 miles, according to South Korea's military. It again demanded that Pyongyang conduct no further nuclear or ballistic missile tests. It also urged United Nations member states to fully implement and more strictly enforce existing sanctions on Pyongyang, in a serious and expeditious manner.

Although Moscow has expressed concern about Pyongyang's broadening nuclear capabilities, it's one of the few countries with diplomatic ties to North Korea.

Seoul- Washington and Tokyo have requested the Security Council to hold an emergency meeting, which could be held today in NY, according to what Uruguay delegation has announced.

The North's state-run media agency said Sunday's test involved a mid-to-long range ballistic missile that could be blasted off and out of the planet's atmosphere and then return, and quoted leader Kim Jong Un as saying the USA mainland is in "sighting range for a strike".

Leader Kim Jong-Un personally oversaw the test, it said, and "hugged officials in the field of rocket research, saying that they worked hard to achieve a great thing". That suggests a range of up to 2,500 miles if it is fired more horizontally, Western experts said.

The test "proved to the full all the technical specifications of the rocket" which was "capable of carrying a large-size heavy nuclear warhead", KCNA said.

Lee declined to give the government's assessment of North Korea's intention, stating the need to take into account factors related to inter-Korean relations, including possible dialogue. Previous attempts have ended in catastrophic failure shortly after launch and none have reached as far or as high as Sunday's test.

But on Tuesday, a North Korean diplomat defended its recent missile test-launch, telling the UN Conference on Disarmament it was a legitimate act of self-defence under global law.

Their ability to make such weapons small enough to be mounted on a rocket is still unclear and they have not yet tested a long-range ICBM capable of reaching the US.

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

KCNA 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".

But in comments that appeared aimed at the U.S., he said that "intimidating (North Korea) is unacceptable".

"Successive administrations over 25 years have attempted to engage China unsuccessfully, but, for the first time, the Chinese appear to be focused on containing the nuclear ambitions of North Korea, so I think the [Trump] administration is pursuing a correct strategy", Faso said. "If the USA awkwardly attempts to provoke [North Korea], it will not escape from the biggest disaster in the history", Kim was quoted as saying.

Beijing has cited United Nations resolutions for all of its measures against North Korea.

That remark came just two weeks after President Donald Trump said he would be "honoured" to meet Kim, after their tit-for-tat sabre-rattling raised tensions in the region.

While Trump has said he'd be "honored" to talk Kim under favorable conditions, Haley seemed to rule out the possibility. She told ABC's "This Week" that Kim is "in a state of paranoia".

U.S. Pacific Command had said in a statement Saturday that the type of missile launched by North Korea was still being assessed but that it "was not consistent with an intercontinental ballistic missile".

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.

  • Leroy Wright