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GOP senator: North Korea missile test 'one of most advanced yet'

19 May 2017, 10:31 | Darnell Patrick

GOP senator: North Korea missile test 'one of most advanced yet'

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un inspects the defence detachment on Jangjae Islet and the Hero Defence Detachment on Mu Islet located in the southernmost part of the waters off the southwest front in this undated

In a unanimous statement backed by the North's main ally China, the council on Monday vowed to punish Pyongyang's "highly destabilizing behavior" and demanded a halt to any further nuclear or missile tests.

The council urged North Korea to show "sincere commitment to denuclearization through concrete action" and stressed the importance of "working to reduce tensions".

Aside from space launches, Jeffrey Lewis of the Middlebury Institute of International Studies in the U.S. said, "this is the longest-range missile North Korea has ever tested".

Putin joins China and new South Korean president Moon Jae-in in calling for talks with the North. But leader Kim Jong Un has promised a sixth nuclear test, warning that his country's weapons could strike the U.S. mainland.

On Monday, North Korean state media showed photos of Kim Jong Un laughing and hugging his rocket scientists after the launch, which he personally oversaw, the report said.

Lee Dong-ryul, from South Korea's Dongduk Women's University, said that as China's influence on North Korea shrank, one of the few effective measures left in Beijing's toolkit was cutting off its oil supply to North Korea.

"North Korea's latest successful missile test represents a level of performance never before seen from a North Korean missile", Schilling wrote.

In his first comments since a North Korean missile plunged into the sea off the Russian coast on Sunday, President Vladimir Putin condemned Pyongyang's nuclear program as "harmful and unsafe", but he added that the worldwide community should respond with talks, not threats.

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

Sometime over the weekend, North Korea finally managed to launch a missile that didn't immediately explode.

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In all, six sanction resolutions have been imposed on North Korea, since it carried out its first nuclear test in 2006. 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". On Monday, South Korea's unification ministry warned North Korea to not miscalculate the situation.

Defense Minister Han Min-koo said at a meeting of the National Assembly's defense committee that the THAAD's radar in South Korea detected North Korea's launch on Sunday, citing confirmation from the U.S.

The missile was launched on an unusually high trajectory, with KCNA saying it flew to an altitude of 2,111.5km and travelled 787km before coming down in the Sea of Japan.

Swedish U.N. Ambassador Olof Skoog said the council needs a firm, united response but "we also feel there needs to be openness for a conversation for dialogue".

Subsequent missile tests suggest it has yet to achieve this goal, though it is making progress, as demonstrated by its most recent success.

"I'm not going to talk about various policy options that we may or may not consider, but I will say this: we are certainly engaged right now in looking at a number of measures - political, economic, security - to deal with these provocative acts by the DPRK, and risky acts in many cases", he said.

United Nations spokesman Stephane Dujarric said Monday that Guterres had called on North Korea to fully comply with its worldwide obligations "and return to the path of denuclearization".

Moon - who favours engagement with Pyongyang to curb its nuclear ambitions - won overwhelmingly after his conservative predecessor Park Geun-Hye was ousted over a massive corruption scandal.

Some analysts, including officials in Tokyo, estimate that the May 14 launch successfully tested a new type of missile, potentially the longest in North Korea's arsenal.



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