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UN chief condemns NKorea missile test

19 May 2017

It said that with this missile, "the USA mainland and Pacific operation region are in the [Democratic People's Republic of Korea's] sighting range for strike".

China might support a new round of United Nations sanctions against North Korea after Pyongyang launched another missile test just hours before Beijing held its biggest diplomatic event of the year, the belt and road forum, observers said.

The country's leader, Kim Jong Un, supervised the launch of the Hwasong-12 missile that reached an altitude of 2,111.5 kilometers (1,312 miles) and flew 787 kilometers (489 miles), KCNA said. That suggests a range of up to 2,500 miles if it is fired more horizontally, Western experts said.

"The members of the Security Council expressed their utmost concern over the Democratic People's Republic of Korea's highly destabilizing behavior and flagrant and provocative defiance of the Security Council by conducting these ballistic missile launches in violation of its global obligations under United Nations Security Council resolutions (...)", the Security Council said.

In April Pyongyang put dozens of missiles on show at a giant military parade through the capital, including one that appeared to be the type launched on Sunday.

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North Korea is believed to be developing an intercontinental ballistic missile capable of carrying a nuclear warhead and reaching the mainland United States. "If the United States dares opt for a military provocation against [us] we are ready to counter it".

Han also said that the North's defense proliferation was advancing faster than originally expected.

"The test-fire proved to the full all the technical specifications of the rocket. like guidance and stabilization systems. and reconfirmed the reliability of new rocket engine under the practical flight circumstances", KCNA said.

The White House in a statement said the "latest provocation" shows a need for all countries to implement stronger sanctions against North Korea, and singled out Russian Federation.

The test was conducted to assess the "tactical and technological features of a new type of ballistic missile intended for a large nuclear warhead".

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The White House responded by saying the hermit kingdom has been a "flagrant menace for far too long" and urged "far stronger sanctions" against the reclusive nation.

North Korea, which is threatening a sixth nuclear test, made a global appeal in a letter released on Friday for states to reconsider enforcing United Nations sanctions.

It was "plausible that they have made a compact warhead after five nuclear tests", Hanham told AFP, but KCNA's phrasing was "interesting but vague".

Moon chaired an emergency meeting of security advisers early Sunday, within hours of the missile launch.

The launch jeopardizes new South Korean President Moon Jae-in's willingness for dialogue with the North, and it came as U.S., Japanese and European navies gather for joint war games in the Pacific.

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"We strongly protest against North Korea", he said.

UN chief condemns NKorea missile test