White House calls North Korea 'flagrant menace' after latest missile test

UNITED NATIONS-The United Nations Security Council on Monday condemned North Korea's recent ballistic missile tests, warning that the launches contributed to the development of nuclear weapons delivery systems and were greatly increasing tensions.

Kim accused the United States of "browbeating" countries that "have no nukes" and warned Washington not to misjudge the reality that its mainland is in the North's "sighting range for strike", the North's official KCNA news agency reported.

North Korea previously launched a ballistic missile from Kusong in February.

According to the Yonhap News Agency, North Korea said it had launched the Hwasong-12 missile, which had reached an altitude of 2,111 kilometers (1,311 miles) and flown 787 kilometers (489 miles).

The South Korean, Japanese and US militaries say the missile flew for half an hour and reached an unusually high altitude before landing in the Sea of Japan. Each new nuclear and longer-range missile test is part of the North's attempt to build a nuclear-tipped intercontinental ballistic missile.

Moon, a strong apologist for former Presidents Kim Dae-jung and Roh Moo-hyun's Sunshine Policy, which highlighted engagement with the North, took a more critical tone Sunday, calling the missile test a "blatant violation of the UN Security Council resolutions" and a "grave threat" to the Korean Peninsula and the global security. The distance to Hawaii, headquarters for US military operations in the Pacific, is 7,400 km.

"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.

North Korea fired a ballistic missile that landed in the sea near Russian Federation on Sunday.




"The test-firing of ICBMs will occur at any time and place, at the will of North Korea's highest leadership", North Korea's ambassador to China, Ji Jae Ryong, told reporters in Beijing on Monday, a day before the UN Security Council meets in NY to discuss the test.

-South Korea military drills, which Pyongyang says are a threat to its security. It said that with this missile, "the US mainland and Pacific operation region are in the [Democratic People's Republic of Korea's] sighting range for strike".

The 38 North analysis points out that the distance flown by the missile means it could strike a USA military base at Guam.

The US said the missile was sacked from Kusong, a city which plays home to much of North Korea's military activity, including munitions factories and uranium mines.

US President Donald Trump's administration has made North Korea a priority security issue.

Moon, South Korea's first liberal leader in almost a decade, said as he took his oath of office last week that he'd be willing to visit North Korea if the circumstances were right.

Trump has advocated for a diplomatic solution to the uptick in North Korean aggravations, but he said last month that he would not rule out a major conflict with North Korea.

The United States called for tougher sanctions against the North, with the White House saying it "has been a flagrant menace for far too long". The USS Carl Vinson, an aircraft carrier, is also engaging with South Korean navy ships in waters off the Korean Peninsula, according to Seoul's Defense Ministry.

(Copyright © 2015. All Rights Reserved.)
 
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