UN Security Council slams latest ballistic missile launches

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Contained in the nonbinding press statement, which has to be approved by all members, is the emphasis the council places on the vital importance of the North "immediately showing honest commitment to denuclearization through concrete action" and the need to reduce tensions on the Korean Peninsula.

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".

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un inspects the long-range strategic ballistic rocket Hwasong-12 (Mars-12) in this undated photo released by North Korea's Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) on May 15, 2017.

The secretive state tested a new longer-range ballistic missile on Sunday, which it later claimed can carry a heavy nuclear warhead.

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

While Trump has said he'd be "honored" to talk with leader Kim under favorable conditions, Haley seemed to rule out the possibility.

Several South Korean analysts, including Lee Illwoo, a Seoul-based commentator on military issues, said the missile flew higher and for a longer period than any other the North has ever test-fired. Traditionally, the United States and China have negotiated new measures before involving remaining council members.

The launch is a test for South Korea's new president, Moon Jae-in, with barely a week on the job.

"This is the longest-range missile North Korea has ever tested [other than space launches]", Jeffrey Lewis, of the Middlebury Institute of International Studies in the USA said.

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

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Under UN resolutions, North Korea is barred from developing nuclear and missile technology.

The North has staunchly declared that it will not deter its missile and nuclear defense programs even as the United Nations Security Council has repeatedly called for it to do so.

After being fired from a launch pad in the Kusong region early on Sunday, the projectile travelled around 500 miles before dropping into the Sea of Japan.

The nose cone resembles that of the KN-08 ICBM the North is believed to be developing, and the lofted trajectory tests re-entry by putting the missile through extra stress, said Joshua Pollack of the USA -based Non-proliferation Review.

The closest USA coast is Los Angeles, California, which sits 5,000 miles away from North Korea.

Meanwhile, the U.S.is studying possible sanctions against global companies that help the North evade restrictions - a step strongly supported in Congress.

North Korea's state-run news agency, KCNA, said the military conducted a "successful launch of a surface-to-surface mid- to long-range rocket of the Hwasung-12 type".

They've failed to stop the North's progress, which includes five nuclear test explosions since 2006.

North Korea said it was a test of the abilities of a "newly developed ballistic rocket". Pyongyang claimed the test showed that it's capable of carrying a nuclear warhead.

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