S. Korea, US say N. Korea fires midrange missile

Cyber security researchers have also said they have found technical evidence that could link North Korea with the global WannaCry "ransomware" cyber attack that infected more than 300,000 computers in 150 countries this month.

Chinese Ambassador to the United Nations Liu Jieyi enters a Security Council meeting about North Korea at U.N. headquarters, Tuesday, May 23, 2017. On Monday, the U.N. Security Council condemned the launch in a statement and called North Korea's behavior highly destabilizing.

Pyongyang has defied all calls to rein in its nuclear and missile programs, even from China, its lone major ally, saying the weapons are needed for defence against U.S. aggression. However, a week ago US Ambassador Nikki Haley said Beijing had gone quiet.

Despite threats of tougher USA sanctions over its aggressive tests, the nation's dictator is pressing on with his nuclear programme with today's launch the 10th of the year following on from dozens in 2016. China and Russian Federation, both permanent members of the council, are seen to hold the key to the progress of the discussion. The council has imposed additional and harsher targeted sanctions on Pyongyang since then in response to repeated nuclear tests.

People watch a TV news program showing a file image of a missile launch by North Korea, at the Seoul Railway Station in Seoul, South Korea, Sunday, May 21, 2017.

The launch "completely verified" the reliability and accuracy of the device, and its late-stage warhead guidance system, KCNA said, adding that the test results were "perfect". "He said the missile's rate of hits is very accurate and Pukguksong-2 is a successful strategic weapon".

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un oversaw the launch from an observation post and ordered it for deployment, according to state-run Korean Central News Agency.

The UK Independent recalls that South Korea believes several low-tech North Korean drones crossed its border in 2014.

It's moving ahead with its nuclear weapons program as well.

The February launch, the North's first missile test after Trump took office, alarmed neighbors because solid-fuel missiles can be fired more quickly than liquid-fuel missiles, which need to be fueled before launch and require a larger number of vehicles, including fuel trucks, that could be spotted by satellites.

North Korea's often-stated goal is to flawless a nuclear warhead that it can put on a missile capable of hitting Washington or other US cities.

The reclusive state has been working to develop a nuclear-tipped missile capable of striking the US mainland. "This is the DPRK's answer to the Trump administration'".

U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson called the country's previous missile launch "disappointing" and "disturbing" in an interview on Sunday.

The launch came just one week after the North fired a Hwasong-12 intermediate-range missile, which according to Pyongyang flew nearly 800 kilometres and was capable of carrying a "heavy" nuclear warhead. Experts said that rocket flew higher and for a longer time than any other missile previously tested by North Korea, and that it could one day reach targets as far away as Hawaii and Alaska. In January 2016, South Korea fired warning shots at a suspected drone which turned back.

That saw a medium-range Pukguksong-2, which Pyongyang said used solid fuel, travel around 500 kilometres.

This is so, the defense officials say, because the missile has the ability to be fired quickly since its fuel can already be loaded before it is brought out from a hiding place to a launching site.

  • Leroy Wright