Latest North Korea missile test represents significant advance

Latest North Korea missile test represents significant advance

North Korea conducted a ballistic missile test Sunday, its 10th this year alone.

The missile seems to have been equipped with a new, high-powered engine that was tested at the Tongchang-ri launch pad in remote North Pyongan Province in mid-March.

The missile test came as a first test to newly elected South Korean President Moon Jae-in, who called for the National Security Council to meet on the matter, a presidential spokesperson said.

Kim Jong-Un was on hand and "hugged" his rocket scientists after what North Korean media hailed as the successful test of a "medium long-range" ballistic missile that is capable of carrying a heavy nuclear warhead. The missile flew for 787 kilometers before falling in the sea west of Japan, KCNA official news agency of the DPRK reported.

But, he added: "We must stop intimidating North Korea and find a peaceful solution to this problem". Dictator Kim Jong Un personally oversaw the launch and, according to state media, warned that USA territories were within reach and that the North was capable of a retaliatory strike.

North Korea says the medium long-range strategic missile it tested over the weekend can carry a nuclear warhead.

The US military's Pacific Command said the type of missile fired was "not consistent" with an intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM), according to Reuters reports. In a show of force, the United States sent an aircraft carrier strike group, led by the Carl Vinson, to waters off the Korean peninsula to conduct drills with South Korea and Japan.

The statement also condemned an April 28 ballistic missile launch by Pyongyang. "The president said we are leaving open the possibility of dialogue with North Korea, but we should sternly deal with a provocation to prevent North Korea from miscalculating". "Let this latest provocation serve as a call for all nations to implement far stronger sanctions against North Korea".

In Seoul, some citizens expressed frustration.

Kim also said the US would "not escape from the biggest disaster in the history" if it continued to "awkwardly" attempt to provoke the regime.

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.

Council diplomats say the USA and China, the North's closest ally, have been working on a new sanctions resolution.

It's not the "perfect weapon" the North Koreans claim, but the latest test represents a significant advance for Kim Jung Un and his nuclear weapons program. "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. 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".

KCNA said the test "proved to the full" the missile's capabilities, including guidance and stabilisation systems, its engine performance in flight, and "the homing feature of the warhead under the worst re-entry situation and accurate performance of detonation system".