United Nations condemns North Korea missile launch


North Korea yesterday rejected the United Nations Security Council's statement on its weekend missile launch, and declared that all its tests were "self-defence measures" created to protect its people.

North Korea fired the ballistic missile on a high arc into the sea early on Sunday, the first test of U.S. President Donald Trump's vow to get tough on an isolated regime that tested nuclear devices and ballistic missiles past year at an unprecedented rate.

The UN Security Council has "strongly condemned" the latest missile launch by North Korea at an emergency meeting held at the request of Japan, South Korea and the US.

"This was no surprise", the official said.

The UN Security Council met two days later, condemning this latest breach of the resolution banning the country from testing ballistic missiles and urging members to "redouble efforts" to enforce sanctions.Many saw Pyongyang's timing as a statement of intent.

It said the launch is probably aimed at showing off the country's confidence that it will be able to conduct another test-launch soon.

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South Korean analysts were expecting some kind of military provocation.

South Korea's Defense Ministry in Seoul said that the object flew east towards the Sea of Japan.

"This is one of the concerns we've had, as they have developed their capability in the missiles themselves, they have also given them a road mobile capability".

There was no immediate confirmation from the North, which recently warned it was ready to test its first intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM).

Kim Dong-yeop, an analyst at the Institute for Far Eastern Studies in Seoul, speculated the missile could be a Musudan or a similar rocket created to test engines for an intercontinental ballistic missile that could hit the USA mainland. "We want to have a big attractive open door and we want people to come in and come in our country, but we can not let the wrong people in and I will not allow that to happen during this administration", Trump said.

Trump and Abe, who at the time of the launch were at the president's Mar-a-Lago resort in Palm Beach, Florida, where it was Saturday evening, responded with a joint rebuke.

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"This demonstrates the irrational nature of the Kim Jong Un regime that has been fanatically obsessed with its nuclear and missile development", the foreign ministry said in a statement, adding the launch was an "explicit and clear violation" of United Nations resolutions. Trump said that the USA "stands behind Japan, its great ally, 100 percent".

"It is time to hold North Korea accountable - not with our words, but with our actions", Haley said in a statement. A regular missile would also stop the ballistic missile reaching its target, but any explosive could set off the nuclear warhead in the air.

North Korean media quoted Kim Jong Un as saying that North Korea's rocket industry "has radically turned" from liquid-fuel engines to high thrust solid fuel-powered ones.

South Korea's finance ministry said it would act "swiftly and firmly" if financial markets reacted to the missile launch.

It is the first missile launch by North Korea since Trump assumed the presidency.

The South Korean won and shares largely shrugged off the test, with both edging lower in early trade.

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