Published: Fri, May 19, 2017
Global Media | By Meredith Barber

UN Security Council for imposing sanctions on North Korea's missile test


A South Korean government minister has said North Korea's missile program is progressing faster than expected, just hours after the UN Security Council demanded the reclusive country to halt all nuclear and ballistic missile tests.

The statement stresses the importance of working to reduce tensions and maintain peace and stability on the Korean peninsula.

The Council "vowed to fully implement all measures" imposed on the isolated island nation.

But he slammed the latest missile test as a "reckless provocation" and said dialogue would be possible "only if the North changes its attitude".

"We will conduct ICBM tests anytime and anywhere in accordance with the decisions made by our central leadership", North Korea's ambassador to China Ji Jae Pyong said.

The UN chief called on North Korea "to ensure full compliance with its worldwide obligations and return to the path of denuclearization". For Pyongyang, this would mean a guarantee that the Kim regime survives and that its nuclear program can continue.

Following that launch, Washington began talks with North Korean ally China on possible new United Nations sanctions.

North Korea's long-term bid to develop a credible nuclear attack threat to the USA mainland saw it launch Sunday what appeared to be its longest-range missile yet.

Washington and Tokyo called for an emergency meeting of the United Nations Security Council, which was scheduled for Tuesday afternoon.

British U.N. Ambassador Matthew Rycroft also called the test a threat to worldwide peace and security and said "the United Kingdom favors tougher sanctions".

Russian President Vladimir Putin said the test was risky, but warned against attempts to "intimidate" Pyongyang.

North Korean state media said Monday that the missile Pyongyang test-fired on Sunday is a new weapon, able to carry a heavy nuclear warhead to unprecedented distances - possibly as far as US soil.

Speaking to reporters during his visit to China, Putin said Monday that "there's nothing good about" the launch. "With the missile impacting so close to Russian soil - in fact, closer to Russia than to Japan - the President can not imagine that Russia is pleased", the White House statement said.

"Prepare for new tests", Kim Jong-un ordered North Korean scientists and developers in the missile industry of the hermit kingdom after the launch of the Hwangson-12 medium-range ballistic missile held on May 14.

On Monday morning, North Korea officially confirmed that it had conducted the launch of a medium-range ballistic missile a day before.

Several South Korean analysts, including Lee Illwoo, a Seoul-based commentator on military issues, said the missile flew higher and for a longer period than any other the North has ever test-fired.

What has North Korea been saying?

"They have the overwhelming dominant economic relationship with North Korea and because they have the greatest leverage, they have the greatest responsibility", he added.

Some experts say the missile's claimed ability to carry heavy warheads would allow North Korea to deploy larger bombs or multiple warheads potentially capable of striking different targets.

North Korea has also launched satellites into orbit on long-range rockets that share some of the same technology as missiles.

Called Hwasong-12, the new North Korean missile flew for 787km to an altitude of 2,111.5km, according to North Korean media, before landing near the coast of Japan, sparking immediate condemnation from Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe.

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