North Korea continues to advance its nuclear program, despite threats of increased sanctions from the U.N.
In a new provocation, North Korea has carried out a new ballistic missile test early on Sunday, causing widespread outrage in the region.
The missile appeared to have a significantly longer range than others North Korea has tested recently, analysts believe.
Reports from Japan say that the missile fell into the Sea of Japan after traveling about 700 km (430 miles) and flying for about 30 minutes.
Officials said that the ballistic missile landed in the sea near Russia. It hit the water about 60 miles from Vladivostok in eastern Russia and was closer to Russia than any of its recent tests.
According to U.S. officials, the missile was launched near the city of Kusong, in western North Korea and flew across the country and into the Sea of Japan/East Sea.
The launch surprisingly comes a day after North Korea expressed interest in engaging in talks with the U.S.
The missile test by North Korea was also the first test since South Korean President Moon Jae-in took office last week.
“It is possibly a new type of missile,” Japanese Defense Minister Tomomi Inada told reporters in Tokyo.
North Korea’s new missile launch signal advances over country’s capabilities with the extended range and flight time as compared to other tests, a development that could potentially put U.S. bases in Asia within Pyongyang’s range, a Foreign Policy report indicates.
The missile’s specifics are still being analyzed by experts, but the U.S. Pacific Command said. the missile, which flew 430 miles and reached an altitude of more than 1,245 miles, went further and higher than the nation’s last successful test launch, adding that it does not qualify as an intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM).
Global community condemns North Korea’s new missile test
North Korea’s most recent successful test launch was condemned by the global community.
United States Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley, speaking Sunday after the latest missile launch, said talks could not take place while such provocations continued.
“Having a missile test is not the way to sit down with the president because he’s absolutely not going to do it,” Haley told ABC News. “Until he meets our conditions, we’re not sitting down with him.”
Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe too condemned the launch and said, “Despite strong warning from the international community, North Korea launched a ballistic missile again. This is totally unacceptable and we strongly protest it. North Korea’s missile launch is a serious threat to Japan and clearly violate against the UN resolution.”
The EU and NATO condemned Sunday’s ballistic missile launch by North Korea. “The launch earlier today of a ballistic missile by the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) seriously violates multiple United Nations Security Council Resolutions,” Maja Kocijančič, a spokeswoman for the EU’s foreign policy chief, Federica Mogherini, said.
This was the 10th ballistic missile test for Pyongyang so far this year. North Korea is forbidden from developing ballistic missiles under a series of United Nations Security Council resolutions — resolutions that it has consistently ignored.