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Return to path of denuclearization: United Nations to North Korea

19 Mai 2017

ADDS DETAIL ABOUT MISSILE - In this April 15, 2017, file photo, an unidentified missile that analysts believe could be the North Korean Hwasong-12 is paraded across Kim Il Sung Square in Pyongyang.

A South Korean government minister has said North Korea's missile program is progressing faster than expected, just hours after the UN Security Council demanded the reclusive country to halt all nuclear and ballistic missile tests.

The United Nations Security Council is due to meet on Tuesday to discuss North Korea's latest missile launch, diplomats said - a meeting that was requested by the USA and allies South Korea and Japan.

The statement stresses the importance of working to reduce tensions and maintain peace and stability on the Korean peninsula.

"The members of the Security Council vowed to fully implement all measures imposed on the Democratic People's Republic of Korea by the Security Council and strongly urge all other Member States to do so in an expeditious and serious manner", the press release.

The test "represents a level of performance never before seen from a North Korean missile", John Schilling, an aerospace expert, said in an analysis on the USA -based 38 North website.

But on Tuesday, a North Korean diplomat defended its recent missile test-launch, telling the UN Conference on Disarmament it was a legitimate act of self-defence under global law. According to a report by the private intelligence firm Stratfor, "When China recently threatened to cut off fuel exports to North Korea if it conducted its sixth nuclear weapons test, Russian Federation hinted it could replace at least some of that supply".

"This launch constitutes a flagrant violation of U.N. Security Council Resolutions".

Here's a closer look at what happened in Sunday's missile launch, which came only a few days after the inauguration of a new South Korean president, and why it's viewed as a worrying development by North Korea's neighbors and Washington.

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The U.N. Security Council is set to discuss North Korea's latest provocation today.

U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley also condemned the test, saying it "is not the way to sit down" with President Donald Trump. "I think we need to return to this".

The North "strongly wants to talk with Washington", Koo said, as expressed by a senior North Korean official following a meeting with former U.S. officials in Oslo, Norway.

Lee also said North Korea should not misjudge South Korea's tough stance against missile tests despite reports of a more "conciliatory" approach to inter-Korea relations under Moon.

Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull told reporters in Sydney on Monday that North Korea's conduct was "reckless", "provocative" and "unlawful".

Schilling said the ability to hit Guam, 3,400 kilometres away, was not a game-changer, but that the new missile could be a step along the way.

North Korea claimed Monday it successfully test-fired a new mid-to-long-range ballistic missile, capable of carrying a large nuclear warhead.

North Korea claims the missile was a new model.

The missile, called the Hwasong-12, launched at a steep angle from a site northwest of Pyongyang, reached an altitude of 1,242 miles and traveled about 435 miles, landing in the Sea of Japan.

Return to path of denuclearization: United Nations to North Korea