North Korea Celebrates Test Of New, Long-Range Missile

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Underscoring the gravity of the situation, one USA official told Fox News that Pyongyang took a "step forward" with its Sunday launch. She declined comment on whether the North is capable of striking the continental U.S.

North Korean leader Kim Jong-un on Sunday celebrated a test of the "perfect weapon system" after the nation launched what it claimed as a new kind of intermediate-range ballistic missile system which can carry "a large-size heavy nuclear warhead".

North Korea's leader observed the launch of the rocket, according to the Korean Central News Agency (KCNA).

Experts said that North Korea seemed to test Moon's willingness to improve inter-Korean ties with the latest launch coming even before his administration has yet to unveil the details of its North Korea policy.

There are doubts whether Pyongyang can miniaturise a nuclear weapon sufficiently to fit it onto a missile nose cone, and no proof it has mastered the re-entry technology needed to ensure it survives returning into Earth's atmosphere.

Japanese officials said Sunday that the missile flew for half an hour and reached an unusually high altitude before landing in the Sea of Japan.

North Korea claimed the missile was created to carry a large-size nuclear warhead.

The Security Council "strongly condemned the most recent ballistic missile launches" conducted by the DPRK on April 28 and May 13, the 15-nation UN body said in a press statement.

Current leader Kim Jong-un was on-site according to photos released from North Korean state media KCNA and Rodong Sinmun.

The missile test reportedly carried out by North Korea over the weekend has the Trump administration and congressional hawks making statements suggesting that the closer to military conflict with the withdrawn country than ever before.

The launch is a test for South Korea's new president, Moon Jae-in, with barely a week on the job. Instead of demanding that North Korea make the first move, Moon underscored the role of South Korea, declaring that he would bring about simultaneous action by the various countries involved, including North Korea and the US. Uruguay holds the council presidency this month and its U.N. Mission announced the closed consultations will be held on Tuesday afternoon.

Prof Hayes said North Korea has already demonstrated nuclear weapons capabilities and tested nuclear devices underground on five occasions, including twice a year ago.

In a unanimous statement backed by China, the council stressed the importance of North Korea "immediately showing honest commitment to denuclearisation through concrete action".

The announcement sparked global condemnation, with the United States and Japan calling for an emergency meeting of the UN Security Council tomorrow.

Missile testing under Kim Jong-un increased dramatically compared with his father and grandfather's programmes. "Having a missile test is not the way to sit down with the president, because he's absolutely not going to do it", she told ABC.

North Korea has claimed that the missile it tested on Sunday was a new type of rocket capable of carrying a large nuclear warhead. It was sacked at a steep trajectory "in consideration of the security of neighbouring countries", reaching an altitude of 2,111.5 kilometres before hitting open waters 787 kilometres away, KCNA said.

Sunday's missile launch was a successful one and it demonstrated North Korea's longest-range nuclear-capable weapon yet.