UN Security Council slams latest ballistic missile launches

The official [North] Korean Central News Agency said Kim "warned the US not to disregard or misjudge the reality that its mainland and Pacific region operations are in [North Korea's] sighting range for a strike and that it has all powerful means for a retaliatory strike".

The missile, which flew 430 miles and reached an altitude of more than 1,245 miles, went further and higher than the nation's last successful test launch.

On Sunday, North Korea's news agency claimed that the missile was capable of carrying a nuclear warhead.

After years of missile tests by North Korea that have come as part of the nation's effort to build an intercontinental ballistic missile that could launch a nuclear warhead, this latest test is garnering much attention by those watching North Korea for major signs of advancement.

The US military's Pacific Command said the type of missile that was sacked was "not consistent with an intercontinental ballistic missile".

North Korea has carried out a number of missile launches and nuclear tests in recent months, all of which are considered to be in violation with the UN Security Council resolution.

Russian Federation responded to the missile launch by "putting its eastern air defenses on high alert", according to the CNN report. North Korea says the missile was intentionally fired at a high angle out of consideration for its neighbors.

In all, six sets of sanctions have been imposed on North Korea since it first tested an atomic device in 2006.

America and South Korea led calls for fresh sanctions after Kim tested a newly developed Hwasong-12 ballistic missile on Sunday, which the dictator claimed was capable of carrying a nuclear warhead to the US. Dictator Kim Jong Un personally oversaw the launch and, according to state media, warned that US territories were within reach and that the North was capable of a retaliatory strike.

Asked if North Korea's missile programme was developing faster than the South had expected, Mr Han said: "Yes". That suggests a range of 4500km or more, analysts said.

Other experts quickly jumped on this as sign - although not conclusive - that North Korea may have been behind the outbreak.

Speaking to reporters ahead of a closed-door meeting of the 15-member U.N. Security Council on the missile launch, Haley made clear that Washington would only talk to North Korea once it halted its nuclear program.

What has North Korea been saying?

North Korean officials claim the recent launch is proof that the nation is capable of delivering a nuclear warhead that could possibly reach the USA or its allies.

The test is also an immediate challenge to South Korea's new president, Moon Jae-in, who expressed a desire to reach out to the North.

China is feeling increasingly alienated from its wayward North Korean ally and Sunday's headline-grabbing missile launch won't have helped matters.

  • Leroy Wright