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Launched missile could carry large nuclear warhead: North Korea

17 May 2017

Tensions heightened in the Korean Peninsula in recent weeks amid speculation Pyongyang may conduct its sixth nuclear test sometime soon while the North's leader continued to threaten neighboring South and the USA with its series of missile tests, some of which had recently failed.

Some outside analysts believe the Hwasong-12 missile, if proven in further tests, could help North Korea achieve its goal of developing missiles with nuclear warheads capable of reaching the USA mainland.

"It appears to have not only demonstrated an intermediate-range ballistic missile that might enable them to reliably strike the USA base at Guam", Schilling said, "but more important, may represent a substantial advance to developing an intercontinental ballistic missile".

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

The adoption of the statement came after Pyongyang announced the success of a mid- to long-range ballistic rocket test Sunday.

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

The United Nations Security Council (UNSC) will meet on Tuesday to discuss Pyongyang's latest defiant move.

The new strategic ballistic missile named Hwasong-12, fired on Sunday at the highest angle to avoid affecting neighboring countries' security, flew 787 km on a trajectory reaching an altitude of 2,111.5 km, the North's official KCNA said.

The UN statement also condemned an April 28 ballistic missile launch by Pyongyang.

USA officials reported that the missile landed 60 miles from the Russian city of Vladivostok. "I think we need to return to this".

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Trump has advocated for a diplomatic solution to the uptick in North Korean aggravations, but he said last month that he would not rule out a major conflict with North Korea. In a show of force, the United States sent an aircraft carrier strike group, led by the Carl Vinson, to waters off the Korean peninsula to conduct drills with South Korea and Japan.

"If the United States awkwardly attempts to provoke the DPRK, it will not escape from the biggest disaster in the history, Kim said, strongly warning the USA should not to disregard or misjudge the reality that its mainland and Pacific operation region are in the DPRK's sighting range for strike and that it has all powerful means for retaliatory strike".

Harris met Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, who also said China could apply more pressure to rein in North Korea.

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Launched missile could carry large nuclear warhead: North Korea