The United Nations Security Council on Monday condemned North Korea's recent ballistic missile tests, warning that the launches contributed to the development of nuclear weapons delivery systems and were greatly increasing tensions.
"It is considered an IRBM (intermediate range ballistic missile) of enhanced caliber compared to Musudan missiles that have continually failed", he said, referring to a class of missile created to travel up to 1,860 to 2,485 miles.
But it said the North's missiles did appear to be able to leave and re-enter the atmosphere, which is crucial to developing intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBMs), the Yonhap news agency reported.
It was the regime's most successful missile test to date, but officials in in South Korea said more information was needed before the North's inflammatory claim about nuclear warheads could be confirmed.
Russian President Vladimir Putin said Monday the North's latest missile test was risky, but warned against attempts to "intimidate" Pyongyang.
A missile launch over the weekend shows that North Korea's technology seems to be getting more sophisticated.
U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley said on Sunday that the U.S. and its global partners will "tighten the screws" on the North Korean regime. The test gives a boost to leader Kim Jong Un as he seeks to show his people that he's standing up to America and South Korea. The missile flew as far as 489 miles and landed roughly 60 miles away from the coast of Russia's Vladivostok region.
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Some experts say the missile's claimed ability to carry heavy warheads would allow North Korea to deploy larger bombs or multiple warheads potentially capable of striking different targets.
Pyongyang's propaganda must be considered with caution, but if confirmed, the claim marks another big step forward in the country's escalating efforts to field a nuclear-tipped missile capable of reaching the USA mainland.
North Korea said on Monday it was a test of the abilities of a "newly developed ballistic rocket".
While observing the launch, Kim reportedly warned that the American mainland and Pacific strategic theater are within North Korea's strike range.
"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. The test also immediately closed the space for maneuvering for US -allied South Korea's new president, who favors engaging North Korea. Following the launch, a statement from the White House called North Korea a "flagrant menace" and urged "far stronger sanctions" against the reclusive nation.
The missile was launched on an unusually high trajectory, before splashing down in the Sea of Japan (East Sea).
It was referring to a nuclear test site in the northeastern mountainous region where the North conducted its five previous nuclear tests, including two a year ago.