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North Korea threatens South after firing missile

19 May 2017

The official [North] Korean Central News Agency said Kim "warned the USA not to disregard or misjudge the reality that its mainland and Pacific region operations are in [North Korea's] sighting range for a strike and that it has all powerful means for a retaliatory strike".

China might support a new round of United Nations sanctions against North Korea after Pyongyang launched another missile test just hours before Beijing held its biggest diplomatic event of the year, the belt and road forum, observers said.

North Koreans celebrated the test of a "perfect weapon system" Sunday morning after leader Kim Jong Un and his team successfully launched a new intermediate-range ballistic missile system capable of carrying "a large-size heavy nuclear warhead", according to the Washington Post. If shot at a standard trajectory, experts say, the missile would have traveled about 2,500 miles, far enough to hit the U.S. Air Force base in Guam.

Pyongyang's latest missile launch was condemned worldwide, with the USA calling North Korea a "flagrant menace" and urging allies to impose even stronger sanctions on the nation.

North Korea today said it had successfully tested a new type of rocket in its latest missile launch, as analysts said it showed an unprecedented range that brought USA bases in the Pacific within reach.

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UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres on Monday condemned North Korea over its latest ballistic missile launch and called on Pyongyang to return to denuclearization. "If the U.S. dares opt for a military provocation against [us] we are ready to counter it".

The Security Council is scheduled to hold closed-door consultations on the missile test on Tuesday.

If discussions could be arranged, it would mark the first significant development in diplomacy with North Korea since the nation pulled out of six-party talks in 2009.

Yet 38 North also says new assessments of what North Korea's missile program can do are now necessary.

Speaking Monday in Tokyo, Japanese Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga noted that along with the US and South Korea, Japan was going to push this week at the United Nations for greater unity, including efforts to extend "diplomatic cooperation with China and Russian Federation and other countries that have a strong influence" over the North.

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The North says it needs atomic weapons to defend itself against the threat of invasion and has carried out two atomic tests and dozens of missile launches since the beginning of a year ago.

China is feeling increasingly alienated from its wayward North Korean ally and Sunday's headline-grabbing missile launch won't have helped matters.

"The president said we are leaving open the possibility of dialogue with North Korea, but we should sternly deal with a provocation to prevent North Korea from miscalculating".

The presidency said the envoys will meet with high ranking officials to exchange ideas and explain the new South Korean government's policy plans. Pyongyang is threatening a sixth nuclear test.

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North Korea threatens South after firing missile