Putin says intimidation of North Korea must end

But it remains unclear whether it has the ability to make the weapons small enough to be mounted on a rocket, and it has never tested an ICBM which could reach, for example, the US.

Over the weekend, North Korean officials said they're open to talks under the right circumstances, but USA officials say that missile launches like this one shatter the prospect of dialogue at least any time soon.

South Korean Defense Minister Han Min-koo told parliament that Sunday's test-launch was "successful in flight".

The missile flew just over 430 miles, but the distance wasn't almost as interesting to analysts as the 1,245-mile altitude the weapon achieved.

Japanese Defense Minister Tomomi Inada told reporters Sunday that the missile launched Saturday reached an unprecedented altitude of 2,000 kilometers, or nearly 1,250 miles, which led to speculation that North Korea had developed a new intermediate-range missile.

British U.N. Ambassador Matthew Rycroft also called the test a threat to worldwide peace and security and said "the United Kingdom favors tougher sanctions".

The missile was launched at the highest angle so as not to affect the security of neighboring countries and flew 787 kilometers (490 miles) reaching an altitude of 2,111.5 kilometers (1,312 miles), KCNA said.

Last week South Korea elected a new president, Moon Jae-In, who advocates reconciliation with Pyongyang and said at his inauguration that he was willing "in the right circumstances" to visit the North to ease tensions.

Washington and Tokyo called for an emergency meeting of the United Nations Security Council, which was scheduled for Tuesday afternoon.

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In a unanimous statement backed by China, the council yesterday stressed the importance of North Korea immediately showing honest commitment to denuclearization through concrete action.

North Korea celebrated Sunday's launch of what appeared to be its longest-range ballistic missile yet tested in a bid to bring the USA mainland within reach, saying it was capable of carrying a "heavy nuclear warhead".

The statement also condemned an April 28 ballistic missile launch by Pyongyang.

The statement called for "far stronger sanctions" against North Korea and said the United States was watching the situation closely with South Korea and Japan.

"This launch constitutes a flagrant violation of UN Security Council Resolutions". While not far enough to threaten the United States, it shows that Pyongyang has the capability to hit Russian Federation and China.

North Korean officials claim the recent launch is proof that the nation is capable of delivering a nuclear warhead that could possibly reach the USA or its allies.

The UN Security Council first imposed sanctions on North Korea in 2006 and has strengthened the measures in response to its five nuclear tests and two long-range rocket launches.

The Blue House's press secretary said: "The president said while South Korea remains open to the possibility of dialogue with North Korea, it is only possible when North Korea shows a change in attitude". "It underscores not only the importance of the U.S. -Japan alliance, but also US-Japan-South Korea trilateral cooperation".

  • Sonia Alvarado