North Korea missile test is huge step forward

North Korea missile launch

North Korea missile launch

David Wright, co-director of the Global Security Program at the Union of Concerned Scientists, said the missile could have a range of 4,500 kilometers (about 2,800 miles) if flown on a standard, instead of lofted, trajectory - considerably longer than North Korea's current missiles.

Speaking to his nation's parliament, the South's Han Min-koo said THAAD detected Sunday's launch of a missile that the North claimed was capable of carrying and delivering a nuclear payload.

DPRK are the initials of North Korea's official name, the Democratic People's Republic of Korea.

In a unanimous statement backed by the North's main ally China, the council on Monday vowed to punish Pyongyang's "highly destabilizing behavior" and demanded a halt to any further nuclear or missile tests.

The launch jeopardizes new South Korean President Moon Jae-in's willingness for dialogue with the North, and it came as U.S., Japanese and European navies gather for joint war games in the Pacific.

The UN Security Council will hold closed consultations about the launch on Tuesday afternoon, according to the UN Mission for Uruguay, which holds the council presidency this month.

Pyongyang has carried out two atomic tests and dozens of missile launches since the beginning of past year in its quest to develop a missile capable of delivering a nuclear warhead to the continental United States.

In recent years, North Korea successfully put satellites into orbit twice aboard long-range rockets in what the United Nations called a disguised test of long-range missile technology.

"The United States maintains our ironclad commitment to stand with our allies in the face of the serious threat posed by North Korea", the statement said.

ABC News takes a look at what we know and don't know about the latest North Korean missile launch.

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Mr Comey reportedly wrote in the memo that the President told him Gen Flynn had done nothing wrong. "I hope you can let this go". But Comey did not say anything to Trump about limiting the investigation, replying, "I agree he is a good guy".

The press statement from the U.N.'s most powerful body said its 15 members agreed to "take further significant measures including sanctions, in line with the council's previously expressed determination". Traditionally, the United States and China have negotiated new measures before involving remaining council members.

The United States sees China as key, US Disarmament Ambassador Wood told reporters on a conference call. "I think we need to return to this". China really is the key in dealing with the North Korea issue. Trump has feted Xi in hope of securing more pressure on the North, which counts on China for up to 90 percent of its trade.

The Security Council has adopted six increasingly tougher sanctions resolutions against North Korea. Pyongyang is threatening a sixth nuclear test.

Symantec and Kaspersky Lab said on Monday some code in an earlier version of the WannaCry software had also appeared in programs used by the Lazarus Group, which researchers from many companies have identified as a North Korea-run hacking operation.

The missile flew more than 435 miles before splashing into waters early Sunday between Japan and the Korean Peninsula.

Admiral Harry Harris, the top U.S. commander in the Asia-Pacific, said on Tuesday continued missile launches by North Korea showed the importance of the alliance between Japan and the United States.

Outsiders express more skepticism about North Korea's nuclear warhead claims.

The U.S. Seventh Fleet carrier, the Ronald Reagan, left Yokosuka in Japan on Tuesday on its regular spring patrol and will be out for around three to four months, a Seventh Fleet spokesman said.

"If (electrical) circuits break and a trigger device fails to detonate nuclear fuel, you can imagine that only some twisted metal will fall on Alaska or Hawaii, even if North Korea fires missiles at them", said Kim Dong-yub, an analyst at Seoul's Institute for Far Eastern Studies.

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