UN strongly condemns North Korea's latest missile launch

Posted April 08, 2017

The legislation reflects Washington's resolve to hold Pyongyang accountable, particularly ahead of U.S. President Donald Trump's summit with Chinese President Xi Jinping later this week.

"This is Seoul's first missile with an 800-kilometer range and it will give South Korea the ability to put its launchers in the south out of range of North Korean missiles", said Michael Cole, senior non-resident fellow at the University of Nottingham's China Policy Institute in Taipei.

North Korea has conducted five nuclear tests - including two a year ago - but experts said the country still hasn't developed nuclear warheads that can be mounted onto missiles.

The North conducted two nuclear tests and 24 ballistic missile tests past year, defying six Security Council sanctions resolutions banning any testing.

"We have no further comment", Tillerson said in the statement.

Hyten labeled the launch of the KN-11 missile as "a major advancement" by North Korea because it was "a new solid medium range ballistic missile off a new transporter erector launcher". It flew about 300 miles before falling into the sea inside Japan's air defense identification zone, the area in which Tokyo controls aircraft movement.

Analysts say North Korea might also time nuclear and long-range rocket tests to the April 15 birthday of North Korea founder Kim Il Sung, the late grandfather of current leader Kim Jong Un.

Featured image courtesy of CNN.

South Korea's Joint Chiefs of Staff said the missile was sacked at a high angle, reached an altitude of 117 miles and flew almost 40 miles. On both occasions the missiles landed in the Sea of Japan.

The White House reiterated that all options are still on table while handling the hermit kingdom of North Korea - which in recent months has sharply increased its military activities with no signs of scaling down in the near future.

Reuters reported that the launch constitutes a violation of U.N. Security Council resolutions.

The missile unlike its predecessor is an advanced KN-15 medium-range missile which was sacked using liquid fuel from a fixed location rather than a rocket launcher.

"Pyongyang's evolving ballistic missile and nuclear weapons program underscore the growing threat", Hyten said.

That makes them hard for those monitoring North Korea's military movements to spot, as there are fewer indicators, such as movement of trucks, for South Korean or United States satellites and other surveillance to detect.

The new sanctions are aimed at the country's metalworking, aerospace and arms-related industries, and services in computing, mining, chemicals and refining, the bloc said in a statement.

"There's absolutely no reason for North Korea to fire the KN-15 again this way; the launch measurements show something similar to when developing missiles are flight-tested for the first time for data-gathering purposes", he said.

North Korea's next step could be another underground nuclear test. US intelligence has been monitoring the site where previous tests have been conducted and is warning another one could come at any time.