South Korea fired 450 rounds at flock of birds, says North

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

The South Korean Joint Chief of Staff said that after spotting the object, the army broadcast warning signals and fired shots in accordance with its procedures and added that military positions have been strengthened and air surveillance has been increased. DPRK is short for the North's official name, the Democratic People's Republic of Korea.

The United States says it is willing to enter into talks with North Korea if it halts its nuclear and missile tests.

So far nearly all the North's missiles have been liquid-fueled, meaning they have to be time-consumingly filled with propellant before launch. He did not make a public statement after the meeting.

The North has vowed to develop a missile mounted with a nuclear warhead that can strike the mainland United States, saying the programme is necessary to counter US aggression.

The South's military said the test provided more "meaningful data" for the North's missile programme but whether the North mastered the re-entry technology for the warhead needs additional analysis.

The Security Council adopted two sanctions resolutions a year ago to ramp up pressure on Pyongyang and deny leader Kim the hard currency needed to fund his military programs.

If North Korea did indeed fire the Pukguksong-2 again, it might be part of attempts to stabilize the system's functions before it operationally deploys the missiles, said Kim Dong-yub, an analyst at Seoul's Institute for Far Eastern Studies.

The North also said that it has the capability to deliver a strong "retaliatory strike", and that all U.S. targets in the Pacific were "in its sights". If the North ever obtains a solid-fuel ICBM, it would likely be a rocket powered by a cluster of several Pukguksong-2 engines, Kim said. In 2013, state media said North Korean leader Kim watched a drone attack drill on a simulated South Korean target.

"For military purposes, solid-fuelled missiles have the advantage that they have the fuel loaded in them and can be launched quickly after they are moved to a launch site", David Wright, co-director of the Global Security Program at the US -based Union of Concerned Scientists, said in a blog post.

"There was a basic exchange of opinions about North Korea's nuclear and missile provocations", Yoon said about the meeting between Chung and Pottinger.

The government has already adopted measures of its own, such as a ban on exports from and imports to North Korea, and a ban on the re-entry of North Korean officials stationed in Japan who have traveled to North Korea.

All 15 council members, including the North's closest ally, China, approved the statement ahead of emergency closed consultations Tuesday where France's U.N. Ambassador Francois Delattre said a new sanctions resolution will be discussed.

  • Leroy Wright