North Korea undertakes 'successful' nuclear test

19 Mai, 2017, 22:32 | Author: Claudine Rigal
  • Korean People's Army personnel wave after a military parade in Pyongyang marking the 105th anniversary of the birth of late North Korean leader Kim Il-Sung

Russian President Vladimir Putin, speaking in China, condemned North Korea's latest missile launch as "dangerous" but cautioned against "intimidating" the country.

The U.N. Security Council first imposed sanctions on North Korea in 2006 and has strengthened the measures in response to its five nuclear tests and two long-range rocket launches.

This picture taken on May 14, 2017 and released from North Korea's official Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) on May 15 shows North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un (3rd R) inspecting a ground-to-ground medium long-range strategic ballistic rocket Hwasong-12 at an undisclosed location.

Here's a closer look at what happened in Sunday's missile launch, which came only a few days after the inauguration of a new South Korean president, and why it's viewed as a worrying development by North Korea's neighbors and Washington.

Pyongyang has carried out two atomic tests and dozens of missile launches since the beginning of 2016, with the Security Council adopting two sanctions resolutions a year ago to ramp up pressure and deny leader Kim Jong-Un the hard currency needed to fund his military programmes.

Jin Meihua, from the Northeast Asia Research Centre in Jilin province, said: "North Korea must have somehow prepared for possible further sanctions before this latest test".

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".

North Korea claims the missile was a new model.

Tensions have simmered on the Korean peninsula since April, when Kim and his government conducted a series of missile tests that demonstrated both the country's growing military capability and its willingness to remain belligerent in the face of global pressure.

Outsiders also saw a significant technological jump, with the test-fire apparently flying higher and for a longer time period than any other such previous missile.

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"The situation on the Korean peninsula is at the most unstable point since the armistice and the administration must immediately ramp up the sanctions track, especially against the Chinese that are enabling North Korea's nuclear program", he said.

After being fired from a launch pad in the Kusong region early on Sunday, the projectile travelled around 500 miles before dropping into the Sea of Japan.

There's also a political victory for North Korea.

Last week the South elected a new president, Moon Jae-In, who advocates reconciliation with Pyongyang and said at his inauguration that he was willing "in the right circumstances" to visit the North to ease tensions.

South Korea's Defense Ministry said more analysis was needed to verify the claim.

The Hwasong-12 missile launched from the area of Kuson, northwestern Phyongan-bukto (North Pyongan) province covered a distance of 787 km, reaching an altitude of 2,111 km as reported by DPRK media reports and landing near the coast of Japan.

The official North Korean news agency KCNA said the launch aimed at showing the technical capability to carry a "large scale heavy nuclear warhead". "What we're going to do is continue to tighten the screws".

Two senior national security advisers to Trump will meet Moon's top foreign policy adviser, Chung Eui-yong, in Seoul on Tuesday to discuss a summit of the leaders and the North's missile test, a source with direct knowledge of the meeting said.

Each new nuclear and longer-range missile test is part of the North's attempt to build a nuclear-tipped intercontinental ballistic missile.

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