United Nations strongly condemns North Korea's latest missile launch

07 April, 2017, 09:49 | Author: Leticia Walters

Tensions in the Asia-Pacific region have been heightened since President Donald Trump said he would take a tougher stance on Pyongyang than his predecessor, former President Barack Obama, and a series of military exercises held last month between the USA and South Korea not far from North Korean territory.

Pyongyang said in February a year ago it was suspending the probe in response to tougher sanctions imposed by Japan over North Korean nuclear and missile tests.

Council members said they "deplore" all North Korean ballistic missile activity, stressing that it contributes to the country's development of nuclear weapons delivery systems and diverts resources from the needs of its people. It flew about 480km before falling into the sea inside Japan's air defence identification zone, the area in which Tokyo controls aircraft movement.

But within that timetable, "the DPRK succeeded in the test-fire of a ground-to-ground medium to long-range strategic ballistic rocket Hwasong-10, the test-fire of an SLBM (submarine-launched ballistic missile), the ground jet test of a new type of high-thrust engine of a carrier rocket for the geo-stationary satellite and an explosion test of a nuclear warhead to startle the world and demonstrate the might of the nuclear power all over the world", it said.

North Korea often responds to the drills with its own military training and harsh rhetoric. After Kim's statement, Trump tweeted: "It won't happen!"

Trump warned that the United States would take unilateral action to eliminate the nuclear threat from North Korea unless China increased pressure on Kim Jong Un's regime. Kaspersky reportedly supplied evidence that Pyongyang was also directly responsible for hacks in over a dozen other nations and that the cash was likely used to fund North Korea's nuclear weapons program.

Trump said in an interview with the Financial Times Sunday, "If China is not going to solve North Korea, we will".

Though the White House has previously made similar statements, the call came hours before Mr Trump hosts Chinese President Xi Jinping for a two-day summit at his Mar-a-Lago estate in Florida.

This meeting, coinciding with a tense situation on the Korean Peninsula, has led to speculation of imminent provocations from North Korea. North Korea had previously been suspected by researchers of being behind several major thefts, including one past year in which up to $81 million was stolen from Bangladesh's central bank account in NY, as well as other attempted heists in Ecuador, the Philippines and Vietnam. The last one, on March 22, exploded shortly after launch.

The constant testing has deepened concern especially in nearby Japan and neighboring South Korea - and also in Washington over fears that Pyongyang could soon develop a nuclear-armed missile capable of reaching the USA mainland.

Compounding hitters, April is an important month in the North Korean calendar and the regime likes to mark important dates with fireworks - both with firework displays in the center of Pyongyang and with missile flares.

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