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UN Security Council calls 'urgent' meeting after North Korea's latest missile test

Manuel Armenta | 15 May, 2017, 19:33

Tokyo said the flight pattern could indicate a new type of missile.

But Nikki Haley, the USA ambassador to the United Nations, told ABC's This Week on Sunday that "having a missile test is not the way to sit down with the president, because he's absolutely not going to do it".

Kim Jong Un witnessed Sunday's launch of a ground-to-ground Hwasong-12 missile, a newly developed rocket that could carry a "large-size heavy nuclear warhead", the official Korean Central News Agency said. That's higher and closer to Russian Federation than other North Korean tests, according to USA officials.

Experts said the altitude reached by the missile tested on Sunday meant it was launched at a high trajectory, which would limit the lateral distance it traveled.

South Korea's Defence Ministry said more analysis is needed to verify the North's claim on the rocket's technological features.

Even before North Korea gave its account of what happened, the launch caught the eye of experts.

Yet the latest missile could point to significant advancements in technology for the nation, and it may well be that a North Korea missile capable of reaching mainland American shores will be a reality in the near future.

North Korea is not thought to be able yet to make a nuclear warhead small enough to mount on a long-range missile, though some outside analysts think it can arm shorter-range missiles with warheads.

North Korea has continued with its missile program despite United Nations Security Council resolutions barring such activity.

North Korea conducted another in a string of missile tests Saturday amid heightened global tensions over its nuclear program.

Nikki Haley, the US ambassador to the United Nations, said the latest test shows Kim is "in a state of paranoia" and that Washington will "continue to tighten the screws" on his regime.

Last week the South also elected a new president, Moon Jae-in, who advocates reconciliation with Pyongyang and said at his inauguration that he was willing "in the right circumstances" to visit the North to ease tensions.

Tensions have mounted in recent months after the Trump administration said it would keep "all options on the table" to halt North Korea's nuclear weapons program, including a military strike.

In Seoul, some citizens expressed frustration.

Moon responded on Monday by sending special envoys to the United States, China, Germany, Japan and Russian Federation to explain his new government's plans and policy towards the defiant North.

U.S. President Donald Trump also put the brakes on any thaw, telling NBC on Friday that Moon is "more open to discussion".

The North Korean authorities announced on Monday that it had successfully tested a ground-to-ground intermediate ballistic missile a day before, Sputnik reported citing South Korean media.

Kishida says the worldwide community should prioritize efforts to implement the existing U.N. Security Council resolutions barring North Korea's missile and nuclear technology more thoroughly.

While Trump has said he'd be "honoured" to talk with leader Kim under favourable conditions, Haley seemed to rule out the possibility. "Having a missile test is not the way to sit down with the president, because he's absolutely not going to do it", she told ABC.

It was his second appearance before reporters Sunday after North Korea fired the missile that Japanese officials say may have been a new type given its flight time and unusually high altitude.

North Korea launched a ballistic missile on Sunday that flew some 700 km before splashing into the East Sea.

Earlier on Sunday the White House press secretary's office said in a statement that "North Korea has been a flagrant menace for far too long".

Japanese Defense Minister Tomomi Inada suggested the missile might have been on a "lofted" trajectory, meaning it could fly a flatter path and have a far longer range.