North Korea yesterday celebrated the launch of what appeared to be its longest-range ballistic missile yet tested in a bid to bring the United States mainland within reach.
One day after Kim Jong Un's dictatorship reported a successful test flight of its KN-17 missile, state-run news agency KCNA reported the "U.S. mainland and Pacific operations" were in range of North Korean weapons.
Japanese officials said Sunday that the missile flew for a half-hour and reached an unusually high altitude before landing in the Sea of Japan. Schilling also predicts the missile could have flown almost 2,800 miles (or about 4,500 kilometers) if launched on a maximum trajectory - which would put Guam within striking distance of North Korean missles but "won't greatly change the strategic balance" because "aside from Guam, there aren't really any interesting targets in that range".
The United Nations Security Council is due to meet on Tuesday to discuss North Korea's latest missile launch, diplomats said on Sunday, which was requested by the United States and allies South Korea and Japan.
The test "represents a level of performance never before seen from a North Korean missile", John Schilling, an aerospace expert, said in an analysis on the US -based 38 North website.
In comments carried by Russian news agencies, Putin said Russia considers North Korea's missile launches and nuclear tests to be "unacceptable", adding that "we need to return to a dialogue with North Korea, stop intimidating it and find peaceful solutions".
This May 14, 2017, photo distributed by the North Korean government shows the "Hwasong-12", a new type of ballistic missile at an undisclosed location in North Korea.
Guam is 3,400 km from North Korea.
"So if their ICBM has three stages and this is a single-stage missile, maybe we're watching the North Koreans test the first stage of what will be a multiple-stage ICBM".
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US officials reported that the missile landed 60 miles from the Russian city of Vladivostok.
Here's a closer look at what happened in Sunday's missile launch, which came only a few days after the inauguration of a new South Korean president, and why it's viewed as a worrying development by North Korea's neighbors and Washington.
Despite that, President Trump already expressed his intent to keep the relationship between the US and North Korea "diplomatic" to prevent the latter from using nuclear missiles. "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.
Under UN resolutions, North Korea is barred from developing nuclear and missile technology.
The test "proved to the full all the technical specifications of the rocket" which was "capable of carrying a large-size heavy nuclear warhead", KCNA said.
"The test firing of ICBMs will occur at any time and place, at the will of North Korea's highest leadership", Ji said. Pyongyang claimed the test showed that it's capable of carrying a nuclear warhead. Some analysts believe the missile, if proven in further tests, could reach Alaska and Hawaii if fired on a normal, instead of a lofted, trajectory.
But it described another launch earlier this year as a drill for an attack on USA bases in Japan - which has always been within its range.
Seoul- Washington and Tokyo have requested the Security Council to hold an emergency meeting, which could be held today in NY, according to what Uruguay delegation has announced.
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