China 'may back' new United Nations sanctions over North Korean missile test

The mid-to-long range test was supervised by leader Kim Jong Un, reported North Korea's official KCNA news agency.

Earlier in the day, the U.N. Security Council issued a statement, backed by China, condemning the North for its latest missile firing, which came less than a week after South Korea embraced its new liberal president seeking inter-Korean dialogue.

The missile flew 787 km (489 miles) on a trajectory reaching an altitude of 2,111.5 km (1,312 miles), KCNA said.

North Korea's past satellite rocket launches have been called clandestine tests of ICBM technology, but it is not thought to have tested a true intercontinental ballistic missile yet.

Pyongyang has carried out two atomic tests and dozens of missile launches since the beginning of past year in its quest to develop a missile capable of delivering a nuclear warhead to the continental United States.

On the 38 North website, aerospace engineering specialist John Schilling said it appeared to demonstrate a ballistic missile that could "reliably strike the United States base at Guam" in the Pacific.

Russian President Vladimir Putin said Monday that North Korea's latest missile test was "dangerous", but he warned that Pyongyang was being intimidated and called for a peaceful solution to regional tensions.

U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley also condemned the test, saying it "is not the way to sit down" with President Donald Trump.

"With the missile impacting so close to Russian soil - in fact, closer to Russia than to Japan - the President can not imagine that Russia is pleased", Spicer said.

"The members of the Security Council vowed to fully implement all measures imposed on the Democratic People's Republic of Korea by the Security Council and strongly urge all other member states to do so in an expeditious and serious manner", said the statement.

"It is considered an IRBM [intermediate range ballistic missile] of enhanced caliber compared to Musudan missiles that have continually failed", Han said while also stating Sunday's test was "successful in flight".

North Korean propaganda must be considered with wariness - Pyongyang has threatened for decades to reduce Seoul to a "sea of fire", for instance - but Monday's claim, if confirmed, would mark another big advance toward the North's goal of fielding a nuclear-tipped missile capable of reaching the US mainland.

"The missile may have a maximum range capable of reaching Alaska and Hawaii if it is fired at a standard angle", said Kim Dong-yub, a professor at the Institute for Far Eastern Studies in Kyungnam University.

The U.N. Security Council is set to discuss North Korea's latest provocation Tuesday.

The missile test reportedly carried out by North Korea over the weekend has the Trump administration and congressional hawks making statements suggesting that the U.S.is closer to military conflict with the withdrawn country than ever before.

But experts immediately cast doubt on those claims, saying the missile's range looks long enough to reach U.S. military bases as far as Guam, a U.S. territory in the Western Pacific, but not as far as the U.S. West Coast.

  • Leroy Wright