Published: Tue, May 23, 2017
Sci-tech | By Doreen King

United Nations blasts Pyongyang's latest missile launch

United Nations blasts Pyongyang's latest missile launch

North Korea on May 22 declared its medium-range Pukguksong-2 missile ready for deployment after a weekend test, the latest step in its quest to defy United Nations sanctions and develop a weapon capable of striking USA targets.

The UN Security Council has denounced North Korea over its Sunday missile launch and expressed concern over the regime's "highly destabilizing behavior and flagrant and provocative defiance" of the world governing body. The launch was carried out in violation of the UN Security Council resolutions.

"The midrange surface-to-surface solid-fuel missile Pukguksong-2 launched successfully", North Korea stated.

North Korea fired a solid-fuel ballistic missile Sunday that can be harder for outsiders to detect before launch and later said the test was hailed as flawless by leader Kim Jong Un.

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The KCNA added that the test verified the reliability and accuracy of the solid-fuel engine's operation and stage separation, as well as the late-stage guidance of the nuclear warhead that was recorded by a device mounted on the warhead.

North Korea said Monday that its test-firing a day earlier of a solid-fuel, medium-range missile capable of striking most of Japan was "perfect" and that the weapon was ready to be deployed "for action".

"We urge North Korea to not do anything to again violate U.N. Security Council resolutions", Foreign Minister Wang Yi said in a statement posted on the Foreign Ministry's website on Tuesday.

Experts said the missile would have flown a distance of 4,500 km if launched on a standard trajectory, enabling Pyongyang to reliably strike the U.S. Pacific island of Guam, situated 3,400 km from North Korea.

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However, South Korea's Joint Chiefs of Staff said Monday that while it and USA intelligence authorities had assessed "that North Korea secured meaningful data in advancing the reliability of its missile technology" via the launch, "the stable re-entry of the warhead needs more verification".

The use of solid fuel presents advantages for weapons because it is more stable and can be transported easily allowing for a launch at very short notice from mobile launchers.

South Korea's Joint Chiefs of Staff said in a statement that the South Korean military bolstered its air surveillance and broadcast a warning to North Korea in response to the object.

Ahead of its emergency meeting, the Security Council has vowed to redouble its efforts to introduce a raft of tough sanctions on the North. The North's progress on this front has anxious its neighbors, as the solid-fueled missile has a likely range of 1,000-2,000 km and can be moved and hidden more easily than its liquid-fueled counterpart. In addition, the North-Korean government claimed their experts developed a large-range missile, able to reach all the way to America. That makes them easier to spot and easier to destroy.

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The launch appears to be the latest weapons test for a country speeding up its nuclear weapons and missile development.

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