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20 May 2017, 01:56 | Erica Roy
North Korea missile launch
Leader Kim Jong-un personally oversaw the test on Sunday, the official Korea Central News Agency said, and pictures by state media showed him gazing at the missile in a hangar before the launch.
The United States called the missile launch a message to South Korea, days after Moon took office pledging to engage Pyongyang in dialogue and keep up global pressure to impede the North's arms pursuit.
North Korea's missile programme is progressing faster than expected, South Korea's defence minister said on Tuesday, after the UN Security Council demanded the North halt all nuclear and ballistic missile tests and condemned Sunday's test-launch.
In a unanimous statement, the 15-member UN Security Council on Monday said it was of vital importance that North Korea show "sincere commitment to denuclearization through concrete action and stressed the importance of working to reduce tensions".
Amid growing tensions over Pyongyang's array of missile tests, Beijing in February banned imports of North Korean coal citing United Nations resolutions for all of its measures against North Korea Coal is North Korea's main export and an important source of foreign currencies for its economy and China is its major importer.
The reclusive North, which has defied all calls to rein in its weapons programmes, even from its lone major ally, China, said the missile test was a legitimate defence against US hostility.
"The members of the Security Council agreed that the Security Council would continue to closely monitor the situation and take further significant measures including sanctions, in line with the Council's previously expressed determination", the Security Council said.
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. According to a report by the private intelligence firm Stratfor, "When China recently threatened to cut off fuel exports to North Korea if it conducted its sixth nuclear weapons test, Russian Federation hinted it could replace at least some of that supply". The missile reached an altitude of 2,000 kilometers (1,245 miles), a first for a North Korean missile.
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.
Spokesman Moon Sang Gyun said it is still unlikely that North Korea has re-entry technology, which would return a warhead safely back into the atmosphere. 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.
"The United States is in talks with China - Pyongyang's main trading partner - on a possible new sanctions resolution and the Security Council is expected to hold a closed-door emergency meeting starting around 2000 GMT Tuesday".
Putin said nuclear tests of the type that Pyongyang had been carrying out in recent weeks were unacceptable, but a peaceful solution is needed to ease the ongoing tensions on the Korean Peninsula.
Besides worries about North Korea's missile and nuclear weapons programs, cyber security researchers have found technical evidence they said could link Pyongyang with the WannaCry "ransomware" cyber attack that has infected more than 300,000 computers in 150 countries since Friday.
Another aerospace engineering specialist, John Schilling, said the launch appeared to demonstrate an intermediate-range ballistic missile that could "reliably strike the United States base at Guam" in the Pacific.
The Rodong Sinmun said the issue of nuclear weapons is a matter of concern between the North and the US and warned against South Korean interference, accusing the South of being a "puppet" of Washington.
According to The Associated Press, North Korea chose a high angle for the launch to "avoid neighboring countries".
The presidency said the envoys will meet with high ranking officials to exchange ideas and explain the new South Korean government's policy plans.
Putin said: "We are categorically against the expansion of the club of nuclear powers".
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In addition, Comey agreed to testify at an open hearing of the Senate intelligence committee in the near future, the panel said. Trump and his motorcade then made their way to his hotel for a few hours of downtime before beginning the day's meetings.
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