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North Korea has announced it successfully tested an intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM).

It is the first time North Korea has claimed to have successfully tested a long-range “intercontinental” missile which could potentially have the range to reach the US mainland.

Earlier the US said a missile landed in the Sea of Japan but that it did not pose a threat to North America.

North Korea has increased the frequency of its missile tests, raising tensions.

An announcement on North Korea state TV said it had launched a Hwasong-14 missile, overseen by their leader Kim Jong-un.

North Korea Tests New Rocket Engine

It said the projectile reached an altitude of 1,731 miles and flew 583 miles before hitting a target in the sea.

Earlier the US Pacific Command said it was an intermediate range missile.

Image source Wikipedia

While Pyongyang has appeared to have made progress, experts believe North Korea does not have the capability to accurately target a place with an intercontinental ballistic missile, or miniaturize a nuclear warhead that can fit on to such a missile.

North Korea Accuses US of Mugging Its Diplomats at JFK Airport

South Korea’s President Moon Jae-in has called on the UN Security Council to take steps against North Korea over its latest missile test.

Moon Jae-in has ordered security and diplomatic officials to seek “Security Council measures in close co-operation with the country’s allies, including the United States,” his chief press secretary Yoon Young-chan told reporters.

North Korea Fires Several Anti-Ship Missiles Off Its East Coast

Earlier Japan’s Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga said: “North Korea’s repeated provocations like this are absolutely unacceptable.”

Japan’s PM Shinzo Abe said his country would “unite strongly” with the US and South Korea to put pressure on Pyongyang.

President Donald Trump also responded swiftly on July 4 to the missile launch.

On his Twitter account, Donald Trump made apparent reference to North Korean leader Kim Jong-un, saying: “Does this guy have anything better to do with his life?”

“Hard to believe that South Korea and Japan will put up with this much longer. Perhaps China will put a heavy move on North Korea and end this nonsense once and for all!”

President Trump has repeatedly called on China, Pyongyang’s closest ally, to pressure North Korea to end its nuclear and missile programs.

China has not fully responded to the latest test.

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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”.

South Korea’s military said it could not yet verify North Korea’s claims.

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.

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The United States has decided to delay Minuteman III intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) test scheduled for next week, Pentagon officials have announced.

The Minuteman III ICBM test was put off over concerns it could be misinterpreted by North Korea, amid fears of a conflict.

The test could be postponed till May, in what correspondents say will be portrayed by Pyongyang as a victory.

North Korea has issued a series of unusually strong threats since it was sanctioned by the UN in March for carrying out a third nuclear test.

The Minuteman III ICBM test was put off over concerns it could be misinterpreted by North Korea, amid fears of a conflict

The Minuteman III ICBM test was put off over concerns it could be misinterpreted by North Korea, amid fears of a conflict

The communist country has threatened nuclear strikes on the US, formally declared war on South Korea, and pledged to reopen a nuclear reactor in defiance of UN Security Council resolutions.

A Pentagon official said the US wanted to “avoid any misperception or miscalculation” that might result from the Minuteman 3 test.

The US and South Korean officials have sought to play down fears of a conflict on the Korean peninsula in recent days.

Pyongyang will likely use the delay to its advantage in propaganda, and say the US has been forced to climb down in the face of resilience from the North Korean army.

The North Korean media are full of images of military preparedness intended to rally people behind the leadership.

On Friday, North Korea warned it would not be able to guarantee the safety of embassy staff in the event of a war, but no foreign governments have announced plans to evacuate their embassies.

Many of North Korea’s angry statements have cited annual military exercises between US and South Korean forces as provocation.

The US flew nuclear-capable B2 and B52 bombers over the South as part of the drill, and has since deployed warships with missile defense systems to the region.

This week, North Korea reportedly moved at least one missile to its east coast. It has threatened to strike the Pacific island of Guam, where the US has a military base.

North Korea’s missiles have the capability to carry nuclear warheads, but the country is not yet thought to have developed such warheads.

Many observers say that North Korea’s belligerent rhetoric appears intended for a domestic audience and at shoring up the position of Kim Jong-un, who came to power after his father’s death in December 2011.