North Korea ready to mass produce new missile

South Korea's Joint Chief of Staff said they have also broadcast a warning to the hermit state in response to what coule be the start of war.

North Korea on Sunday fired a medium-range missile, USA and South Korean officials said, in the latest ballistics test for a country speeding up its development of nuclear weapons and missiles.

The North's state news agency saying it was powered by a solid fuel engine - which allows for launches at short notice.

The UNSC is also due to hold a meeting behind closed doors on Tuesday at the request of the US, Japan and South Korea to discuss the North latest Korean launch.

North Korea has been stepping up its missile testing in recent months, apparently attempting to develop a missile capable of reaching the United States.

North Korea's recent missile tests are a legitimate act of self-defense by a "fully-fledged nuclear power" and are not against worldwide law, North Korean diplomat Ju Yong Chol told the UN Conference on Disarmament on Tuesday. In January 2016, South Korea said its military fired 20 machine gun warning shots after a North Korean drone briefly crossed the border.

Sunday's missile test was tracked by US Pacific Command.

The test-firing came just one week after the North launched a Hwasong-12 intermediate-range missile, which according to Pyongyang was capable of carrying a "heavy" nuclear warhead.

U.S. officials and experts, however, questioned the extent of its progress.

China urged the DPRK not to violate UN Security Council resolutions with its nuclear and missile programmes.

On Saturday, they said that they are capable of hitting USA mainland, and on Monday, added that Hawaii and Alaska are also within range.

North Korea on May 22 declared its medium-range Pukguksong-2 missile ready for deployment after a weekend test, the latest step in its quest to defy United Nations sanctions and develop a weapon capable of striking U.S. targets.

North Korea has carried out two atomic tests and dozens of missile launches since the beginning of previous year. In spite of that, North Korea has launched 11 ballistic missiles this year alone.

The council statement said North Korea's "illegal ballistic missile activities are significantly contributing to its development of nuclear weapons delivery systems and are greatly increasing tension in the region and beyond".

Sunday's launch by North Korea was confirmed by the United States and Japan.

  • Julie Sanders