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

The Security Council is scheduled to hold closed-door consultations on the missile test on Tuesday.

But the thing that worries experts the most is the fact that by 2020, Pyongyang may have successfully developed a nuclear missile that can reach the U.S.

"Concern was expressed about the escalation of tension, including in connection with the launch (of the missile of the DPRK)", Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov was quoted as saying in Russian state media.

Kim accused the United States of "browbeating" countries that "have no nukes" and warned Washington not to misjudge the reality that its mainland is in the North's "sighting range for strike", the North's official KCNA news agency reported.

In other pictures, he gleefully clasped hands with military officers after the black missile - the Hwasong-12 - rose into the sky in the dawn light atop a column of fire. They're not there yet, but tests like this are the nuts and bolts a successful weapons program needs.

Under UN resolutions, North Korea is barred from developing nuclear and missile technology. Independent journalists were not given access to cover the event depicted in this photo.

Amid growing tensions over Pyongyang's array of missile tests, Beijing in February banned imports of North Korean coal citing United Nations resolutions for all of its measures against North Korea Coal is North Korea's main export and an important source of foreign currencies for its economy and China is its major importer. The launch is perceived to be a threat to South Korea, the USA and even most nations around the globe.

On Sunday, North Korea test-launched a ballistic missile that flew, at a high trajectory, about 435 miles, according to South Korea's military.

What has North Korea been saying?

The news agency said it flew to an altitude of 2111.5km and covered 787km before coming down in the Sea of Japan.

Ji Jae Ryong told reporters Monday at the North Korean Embassy in Beijing that Pyongyang would continue to conduct launches in the future, as long as the country's supreme leader deemed necessary. Reaching the US West Coast would require a missile with a range of more than 8,000 km.

Kim Jung On has been very vocal towards his issues against the United States. The White House called North Korea a "flagrant menace" and called for tougher sanctions. That could strike US military bases in Guam.

But he slammed the latest test as a "reckless provocation" and said dialogue would be possible "only if the North changes its attitude".

As with much of North Korea's secretive arms program, this couldn't be independently confirmed. If that fails, the system launches Patriot Advanced Capability-3 interceptors to hit the missiles after they re-enter Earth's atmosphere. It again demanded that Pyongyang conduct no further nuclear or ballistic missile tests.

"We consider (the missile test) counter-productive, harmful and risky", Putin told reporters after an global forum in Beijing.

The Rodong Sinmun daily called the new missile "Hwasong-12" and claimed it is "capable of carrying a large nuclear warhead" to the US mainland.

  • Jon Douglas