North Korea celebrates longest-range ballistic missile test

People watch a South Korean TV news broacast showing file footage of a North Korean missile launch at a railway station in Seoul

People watch a South Korean TV news broacast showing file footage of a North Korean missile launch at a railway station in Seoul

Before Sunday's launch, an intermediate-range missile called Musudan was thought to have the longest potential range among the missiles that North Korea has test-fired - about 3,500 kilometers (2,180 miles).

The missile was launched at 5:27 a.m. Sunday Seoul time (4:27 p.m. Saturday ET), off Kusong north of the North Korean capital of Pyongyang, a South Korean military official told NBC News.

The North has been working on a missile, mounted with a nuclear warhead, capable of striking the USA mainland.

State media paraphrased North Korea's leader as saying that "the most ideal weapon systems in the world will never become the eternal exclusive property of the USA", warning that "the US should not. disregard or misjudge the reality that its mainland and Pacific operation region are in (North Korea's) sighting range for strike".

The remarks by Han suggested that the South Korean and USA militaries closely shared data on the operation of the THAAD in South Korea.

Had the mid-range missile been fired towards a real target at a normal trajectory, experts told Reuters it could have reached as far as 4,000km, potentially putting the U.S. military base on Guam within range.

"We believe this extreme crime was orchestrated by hostile forces in order to damage North Korea's domestic affairs", Ambassador Ji Jae Ryong said.

The test was "aimed at verifying the tactical and technological specifications of the newly developed ballistic rocket capable of carrying a large-size heavy nuclear warhead".

Speaking to reporters during his visit to China, Putin said Monday that "there's nothing good about" the launch.

Australia's prime minister has called on China to use its leverage over North Korea to end the regime's missile testing.

The missile flew 489 miles on a trajectory reaching an altitude of 1,312 miles, KCNA said.

Pyongyang has regularly threatened to destroy the United States, which it accuses of pushing the Korean peninsula to the brink of nuclear war by conducting recent military drills with South Korea and Japan.

A closed-door emergency Council session was set for Tuesday.

"The members of the Security Council expressed their utmost concern over the Democratic People's Republic of Korea's highly destabilizing behavior and flagrant and provocative defiance of the Security Council by conducting these ballistic missile launches in violation of its global obligations under United Nations Security Council resolutions (...)", the Security Council said.

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

In a statement released on Monday, the 15 members of the UN Security Council strongly condemned Pyongyang's ballistic missile test that occurred over the weekend.

That is a slap in the face for South Korea's new president, Moon Jae-in, who has promised greater engagement with the North, and suggests that the missile launch was an attempt to improve Pyongyang's negotiating position with a more hardline US under President Donald Trump. "I think we need to return to this". "What we're going to do is continue to tighten the screws".

"We can do a lot of different things that we haven't done yet".

The missile flew four minutes longer than any previous ballistic missile test in the history of the communist regime, USA officials told Fox News, though North Korea had conducted space launches in the past that have flown longer than KN-17 - including a mission in February 2016 that sent a satellite into orbit on Super Bowl Sunday. Pyongyang has stepped up its missile tests over the past year.

Trump warned in an interview with Reuters this month that a "major, major conflict" with North Korea was possible.

The launch complicates the new South Korean president's plan to talk to the North, and came as U.S., Japanese and European navies gather for joint war games in the Pacific.

North Korea fired a ballistic missile that landed in the sea near Russian Federation on Sunday, in a launch the United States called a message to South Korea, days after its new president took office pledging to engage Pyongyang in dialogue. The assertion couldn't be confirmed; many North Korean claims later turn out to have been exaggerated.

According to The Associated Press, North Korea chose a high angle for the launch to "avoid neighboring countries". "Japan and the United States must coordinate and put pressure".

Lee also said North Korea should not misjudge South Korea's tough stance against missile tests despite reports of a more "conciliatory" approach to inter-Korea relations under Moon.

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