THAAD radar detected N. Korea's missile launch: defense chief

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"To that end, the Security Council demanded the Democratic People's Republic of Korea conduct no further nuclear and ballistic missile tests", the council said, adding that it was ready to impose further sanctions on the country.

The reclusive North, which has defied all calls to rein in its weapons programs, has been working on a missile, mounted with a nuclear warhead, capable of striking the US mainland.

In a historical shift in foreign policy, China might support a new round of sanctions by the United Nations (UN) against North Korea after its recent missile test, according to observers.

North Korea says the missile can carry a heavy nuclear warhead. The missile covered a distance of roughly 800 kilometers while reaching an altitude of over 2,000 kilometers, in what appears to be the longest-range missile tested by Pyongyang to date.

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The North has carried out two atomic tests and dozens of missile launches since the beginning of past year . So if North Korea is willing to stop taking actions to defend itself then the USA might talk to them.

The test came just days after South Korean President Moon Jae-in, who has called for closer engagement with the North, was inaugurated in Seoul.

Asked if North Korea's missile programme was developing faster than the South had expected, Mr Han said: "Yes".

If discussions could be arranged, it would mark the first significant development in diplomacy with North Korea since the nation pulled out of six-party talks in 2009.

But on Tuesday, a North Korean diplomat defended its recent missile test-launch, telling the UN Conference on Disarmament it was a legitimate act of self-defence under worldwide law.

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Kim Jong-un personally oversaw the missile launch on Sunday, and was pictured celebrating with his officials afterward. It also claims to have perfected the warhead's homing and detonation systems under hard re-entry circumstances.

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un inspects a Hwasong-12 in an undated photo released by the state-run Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) on Monday. Meanwhile, the United States has also urged China to use its influence over North Korea to de-escalate tensions.

There's also skepticism about North Korea's claims about its re-entry technology, which is needed to return a warhead to the atmosphere from space so it can hit its intended target. The session had been requested by the United States and Japan on Sunday, shortly after North Korea's test launch of an intermediate-range ballistic missile.

In his first comments since a North Korean missile plunged into the sea off the Russian coast on Sunday, President Vladimir Putin condemned Pyongyang's nuclear program as "harmful and unsafe", but he added that the global community should respond with talks, not threats.

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Another important point: One test, even a successful one, does not completely prove a missile's capabilities.

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