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North Korea missile program progressing faster than expected, Seoul says

North Korea missile program progressing faster than expected, Seoul says

This image made from video of an undated still image broadcast in a news bulletin by North Korea's KRT on Monday, May 15, 2017, shows leader Kim Jong Un at what was said to be a missile test site at an undisclosed location in North.

In others he gleefully clasped hands with officers and staff after the black missile - named as the Hwasong-12 - ascended into the sky in the dawn light, atop a column of fire.

"There is a fundamental understanding North Korea's nuclear and missile provocations pose a great threat to the peace and stability of the global community", Lee said.

The missile reached an altitude of 2,000 kilometers (1,245 miles), a first for a North Korean missile.

The crazed leader fired the mid-to-long range missile from a site near Pyongyang before it flew 700km (435 miles) into the Sea of Japan near Russian Federation yesterday (May 14).

USA officials had yet to react to the North's claim, but Japan said, regardless, the new test showed "some progress" in the isolated country's missile programme and was thus further evidence that "we have entered a new level of threat regarding North Korea".

"North Korea is capable of continuing to develop longer-range missiles", physicist David Wright said, adding the regime's longest test to date shows they are inching closer to a missile capable of reaching the US mainland.

Obama defends not bombing Syria GOP senator: North Korea missile test "one of most advanced yet" GOP senators must keep their promises to repeal ObamaCare MORE (R-Colo.), chairman of the Foreign Relations subcommittee on East Asia, said in a statement Monday.

It also tested the North's capability to carry a "large-size heavy nuclear warhead", KCNA said. "If the U.S. dares opt for a military provocation against [us] we are ready to counter it".

Tensions between the two reached a peak in recent weeks, with Washington saying military action was an option under consideration and Pyongyang issuing threats of its own, sending fears of conflict spiralling.

The state-run news organization also said that, after the launch, Jong Un "hugged officials in the field of rocket research, saying that they worked hard to achieve a great thing".

In recent years, North Korea successfully put satellites into orbit twice aboard long-range rockets in what the United Nations called a disguised test of long-range missile technology.

"The situation on the Korean peninsula is at the most unstable point since the armistice and the administration must immediately ramp up the sanctions track, especially against the Chinese that are enabling North Korea's nuclear program", he said.

Pyongyang insists it needs nuclear weapons to defend against the threat of invasion by the U.S., and shows no indication of any willingness to give them up, whatever concessions are offered.

The Sunday launch of the Hwangson-12 medium-range ballistic missile was successful. For Pyongyang, this would mean a guarantee that the Kim regime survives and that its nuclear program can continue.

"That is because we must have many relations to pursue with the North, and engage in dialogue", Lee said.

The White House, in a statement, said that North Korea has been "a flagrant menace for far too long".


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