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WRAPUP 1-N.Korea missile programme progressing faster than expected, says South

17 Mai 2017

Besides worries about North Korea's missile and nuclear weapons programs, cyber security researchers have found technical evidence they said could link Pyongyang with the WannaCry "ransomware" cyber attack that has infected more than 300,000 computers in 150 countries since Friday.

Communications were severed by the North a year ago, Lee said, in the wake of new sanctions following North Korea's last nuclear test and Pyongyang's decision to shut down a joint industrial zone operated inside the North.

Another carrier, the Ronald Reagan, left Yokosuka in Japan on Tuesday on its regular spring patrol, which would last three to four months, a spokesman for the U.S. Seventh Fleet said. "We're not trying to do any of those things", she said. "So our options are there".

US Ambassador to the UN Nikki Haley votes at the Security Council meeting at the United Nations Headquarters in New York, US on April 12, 2017.

When you're talking about North Korea, which is flagrantly violating global resolutions against it, violating worldwide law, developing nuclear capability, developing missile capability, and you juxtapose that against a steadfast alliance that does the same exercises we've done for years - it sails ships through global waters, flies airplanes in global airspace, and to somehow call us the provocative ones, I just don't buy that.

USA experts said the missile launched over the weekend could have a range of 4,500 kilometers (about 2,800 miles), putting Guam easily within range.

He urged Pyongyang to ensure full compliance with its worldwide obligations and return to the path of denuclearization.

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

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"What's more concerning is not an individual test or two individual tests, it's that they're approaching their missile development in a very pragmatic way", Joseph S. Bermudez Jr, a USA analyst, told the Wall Street Journal.

"It is indeed very clear that the threat coming from North Korea's missile and nuclear programme is now entering into a new stage".

"And of course we remain steadfast and ironclad in our commitment to our allies the Republic of Korea and Japan", he added.

He said the Korean peninsula may be an important strategic asset for the United States and China, but it was not important enough to trigger World War III. Its ambassador to China said in Beijing on Monday it would continue such test launches "any time, any place". The Pentagon, however, is skeptical that Pyongyang has mastered the re-entry technology needed to ensure it survives returning into Earth's atmosphere.

Moon took office last week after winning an election triggered by the ouster of his conservative predecessor, Park Geun-hye, who was removed from office and jailed in March over corruption allegations.

Russian President Vladimir Putin said the test was risky, but warned against attempts to "intimidate" Pyongyang.

But the tubby tyrant's latest test on Sunday was declared a success by the North Korean government.

"I think it is possible", Putin was quoted as saying, using North Korea's official name.

WRAPUP 1-N.Korea missile programme progressing faster than expected, says South