North Korea’s latest missile test has been unanimously condemned by the UN Security Council, while warning of new sanctions.
In a statement, the 15-member Council demanded that North Korea conduct no further such tests.
Pyongyang earlier said the missile it had tested on May 14 was a new type of rocket capable of carrying a large nuclear warhead.
The missile traveled some 435 miles, reaching an altitude of 1,250 miles and landing in the sea west of Japan.
North Korea said it was a test of the abilities of a “newly developed ballistic rocket”.
However, it said Pyongyang’s missiles did appear to be able to leave and re-enter the atmosphere, which is crucial to developing intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBMs), South Korea’s Yonhap news agency reports.
In the statement on May 15, the UN Security Council stressed on the importance of North Korea “immediately showing sincere commitment to denuclearization through concrete action”.
North Korea should “conduct no further nuclear and ballistic missile tests”, it said.
The UN Security Council has imposed six sets of sanctions against North Korea since 2006.
North Korea’s KCNA state news agency said the test of a “newly developed mid/long-range strategic ballistic rocket, Hwasong-12” had gone to plan.
“The test-fire aimed at verifying the tactical and technological specifications of the newly developed ballistic rocket capable of carrying a large-size heavy nuclear warhead,” it said.
North Korea is known to be developing both nuclear weapons – it has conducted five nuclear tests – and the missiles capable of delivering those weapons to their target. Both are in defiance of UN sanctions.
However, it remains unclear whether it has the ability to make the weapons small enough to be mounted on a rocket, and it has never tested an ICBM which could reach, for example, the US.
ICBM’s are considered to have a range of about 3,750 miles, but analysts believe the missile tested on Sunday would have travelled about 2,500 miles if it had been fired at a standard trajectory rather than upwards.
The KCNA report said that, as ever, the test had been overseen by North Korea’s Supreme Leader, Kim Jong-un.
It said Kim Jong-un had told the scientists and technicians involved “not to be complacent” but to build further “nuclear weapons and methods of delivery” until the US made “the right choice”.
The White House has mooted talks with North Korea under the right conditions, which would include a halt to missile tests.