North Korea: New long-range missile can carry heavy nuke

North Korea has claimed that the new type of ballistic missile it launched on Sunday is capable of carrying a nuclear warhead.

Outsiders saw a significant technological jump in the weekend test, with the rocket apparently flying higher and for a longer time than any other such previous missile.

An undated photo released 15 May 2017 by North Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) showing North Korean leader Kim Jong Un (C) viewing a missile, believed to be Hwasong-12.

Trump also has sought to enlist Chinese President Xi Jinping's help in preventing North Korea from escalating development of its weapons program.

The timing of the launch also was a blow to North Korea's main ally China, which began a two-day summit to promote a global trade infrastructure project dubbed the "one belt, one road initiative", on Sunday.

The missile, which was launched at a high angle, reached the maximum altitude of more than 2,111.5 kilometers before landing in the East Sea 787 km away.

The South Korean, Japanese and US militaries say the missile flew for half an hour and reached an unusually high altitude before landing in the Sea of Japan.

This range is considerably longer than the estimated range of the Musudan missile, which showed a range of about 3,000 km in a test a year ago.

However, the United States military's Pacific Command said on Sunday the type of missile that was sacked was "not consistent" with an ICBM and South Korea's military played down the North's claim of technical progress on atmospheric re-entry.

Storms expected Monday afternoon
However, a multi-day storm event is likely later this week and severe weather is nearly assuredly in the mix. This means numerous severe storms are expected in this area with more persistent and widespread activity.


Russian Federation has shown concern about Pyongyang's missiles, but it may also see North Korea as an opportunity to gain leverage with the West, the USA in particular, according to CNN Moscow Bureau Chief Matthew Chance.

Japanese Defense Minister Tomomi Inada said the altitude and duration of the flight indicate it may have been a "new type of missile" but more analysis was needed.

Francois Delattre told reporters Monday that France favors "a strong, swift and firm reaction of the council" to North Korea's test on Sunday of a new longer-range ballistic missile, which he called "a serious threat to peace and security both in the region and the world".

The U.N. Security Council is due to meet Tuesday to discuss North Korea's latest missile, which the White House said should "serve as a call for all nations to implement far stronger sanctions" against Pyongyang.

In a unanimously agreed statement, the 15-member council said it was of vital importance that North Korea show "sincere commitment to denuclearization through concrete action and stressed the importance of working to reduce tensions". North Korea also has conducted three of five underground nuclear tests under the younger Kim's regime.

Kim was quoted as warning the US that if it ever "awkwardly attempts to provoke" his country, it will face the "biggest disaster" in history.

Moon kept open the possibility of an inter-Korea summit, initially proposed last Wednesday in his inaugural speech, but said it can only be held when Pyongyang "changes its behavior".

US President Donald Trump's administration has made North Korea a priority security issue. In a show of force, the United States sent an aircraft carrier strike group, led by the USS Carl Vinson, to waters off the Korean peninsula to conduct drills with South Korea and Japan.

  • Delia Davidson