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North Korea fires ballistic missile
20 May 2017, 03:53 | Darnell Patrick
North Korea fires ballistic missile
North Korea's official Rodong Sinmun newspaper devoted half of its six-page Monday edition to coverage of the missile test, with vivid colour photographs of the launch and jubilant leader Kim Jong Un celebrating with military officers.
In recent years, North Korea successfully put satellites into orbit twice aboard long-range rockets in what the United Nations called a disguised test of long-range missile technology.
Kim Do-hoon, 31, said that South Korea, while keeping the "door open for conversation" with the North, should also "show a stern attitude at some level".
There are, however, doubts whether North Korea can miniaturise a nuclear weapon sufficiently to fit it into a missile nose cone, and there is no evidence Pyongyang has mastered the technology needed to ensure the missile survives returning into Earth's atmosphere. According to KCNA, the missile test that took place northwest of Pyongyang was a success and was even supervised by a satisfied Kim Jong Un.
North Korea has been developing a long-range missile capable of striking the mainland United States mounted with a nuclear warhead.
The weapon was launched on an unusually high trajectory, with KCNA saying it flew to an altitude of about 2,110km and travelled 787km before coming down in the Sea of Japan.
U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres is condemning the latest North Korean ballistic missile test as a violation of Security Council resolutions and a threat to peace and security in the region.
The test also immediately closed the space for maneuvering for US -allied South Korea's new president, who favors engaging North Korea. Each new nuclear and longer-range missile test is part of the North's attempt to build a nuclear-tipped intercontinental ballistic missile.
North Korea says the missile can carry a heavy nuclear warhead.
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Last week the South 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.
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.
U.S. Ambassador Nikki Haley said on ABC-TV's "This Week" on Sunday that the U.S. has been working well with China, Pyongyang's closest ally, and she raised the possibility of new sanctions against North Korea, including on oil imports.
The country's official Korean Central News Agency says the missile fired Sunday Korea time was a Hwasong-12 "capable of carrying a large-size heavy nuclear warhead".
U.S. President Donald Trump's administration has called North Korean ballistic and nuclear efforts unacceptable, but he has swung between threats of military action and offers to talk as it formulates a policy.
The missile test was launched just days after South Korea elected their new president, according to the USA ambassador to the U.N. Washington has been saying that the missile test on Sunday was a clear message from North Korea to the South.
The nose cone resembles that of the KN-08 ICBM the North is believed to be developing, and the lofted trajectory tests re-entry by putting the missile through extra stress, said Joshua Pollack of the USA -based Non-proliferation Review. But further analysis showed it was a new type of missile, given the designator KN-17, with a possible short range or medium range given that it was a single-stage rocket.
The United States called for tougher sanctions against the North, with the White House saying it "has been a flagrant menace for far too long".
North Korea described another launch earlier this year as a drill for an attack on USA bases in Japan - which has always been within its range. The USS Carl Vinson, an aircraft supercarrier, is also engaging with South Korean navy ships in waters off the Korean Peninsula, according to Seoul's Defense Ministry.
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