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UN condemns North Korea missile launch, vows new sanctions

23 May 2017

The United States and South Korea have said the deployment is aimed purely at defending against any threat from North Korea, which experts have thought for months is preparing for what would be its sixth nuclear test in total.

In a unanimous statement backed by Pyongyang's ally China, the UN Security Council yesterday strongly condemned Sunday's test-firing of the medium-range Pukguksong-2, instructing the UN sanctions committee to redouble efforts to implement a series of tough measures adopted past year.

"We urge North Korea to not do anything to again violate U.N. Security Council resolutions", Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi said in a statement posted on the Foreign Ministry's website on Tuesday.

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Under UN resolutions, North Korea is barred from developing nuclear and missile technology.

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The U.N. Security Council strongly condemned North Korea's ballistic missile launch Monday and vowed to step up the pressure on Pyongyang in the face of its refusal to end banned weapons programs.

"All options are on the table", U.S. Ambassador Nikki Haley said from Jordan.

White House officials traveling in Saudi Arabia with President Donald Trump said the system, which was last tested in February, has a shorter range than the missiles launched in North Korea's most recent tests.

North Korea has disclosed a series of images of the Earth it says were taken by a camera carried aboard a ballistic missile during the country's latest test. Nikki Haley, the American ambassador to the United Nations, said Washington was working closely with Beijing to draft a new sanction resolution, but no final agreement has been reached as of yet.

North Korea'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.

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In an interview with "Fox News Sunday", U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said the ongoing testing is "disappointing" and "disturbing". He was referring to the North by the abbreviation for its official name, the Democratic People's Republic of Korea.

Sunday's launch by North Korea was confirmed by the U.S. and Japan.

He noted the Pukguksong-2's solid fuel is of particular concern.

Solid-fuel missiles have their fuel loaded before being moved into place, allowing them to be launched faster and with more secrecy.

So far nearly all the North's missiles have been liquid-fuelled, which have to be time-consumingly filled with propellant before launch.

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