North Korea says it's ready to deploy, mass-produce new missile

Lee told his USA counterpart General Joseph Dunford and Japanese counterpart Admiral Katsutoshi Kawano that North Korea's nuclear and missile programs are becoming a serious threat not only for the Korean Peninsula but also the global community.

The council statement, similar to previous condemnations, 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".

France's U.N. Ambassador Francois Delattre said he hopes the council will move ahead on a strong new resolution that imposes tougher new sanctions against North Korea and requires better implementation of existing sanctions.

Local media said the object might have been a North Korean drone.

The North followed up with a weekend test-launch and declared Monday that it is ready to start mass-producing the new medium-range ballistic missile which it said is capable of reaching Japan and major USA military bases there.

Beijing wants a denuclearized North Korea, but continues to temper its support for sanctions with maintaining regional stability and backing the Kim regime as a check against USA and South Korean power in the region. It was North Korea's second missile test in a week.

North Korea's deputy U.N. envoy said on Friday that the United States needed to roll back its "hostile policy" toward the country before there could be talks between the pair.

It stressed the importance of North Korea "immediately showing honest commitment to denuclearisation through concrete action".

Experts said that rocket flew higher and for a longer time than any other missile previously tested by North Korea and represents another big advance toward a viable ICBM.

South Korea and the US will find it harder to detect solid-fuel missile launches in advance by reconnaissance satellites because launch preparation is much shorter than for liquid fuel.

Solid-fuel missiles have their fuel loaded before being moved into place, allowing them to be launched faster and with more secrecy.

North Korea said on Monday it has successfully tested an intermediate-range ballistic missile to confirm the reliability of the late-stage guidance of the nuclear warhead, indicating further advances in the ability to hit United States targets.

  • Joanne Flowers