North Korea claim long-range weapons ‘capable of reaching US’
North Korean state media has claimed that the reclusive nation successfully tested a “newly developed ballistic rocket” capable of carrying a nuclear warhead.
It comes after the election of South Korea’s new president and the US mililtary’s show of force in the region amid concerns over Kim Jong-un’s nuclear programme.
10pm BST: The United States has insisted it can persuade China to impose new UN sanctions on North Korea.
Donald Trump’s nation has said it believed it could “call out” countries supporting Pyongyang.
Speaking to reporters ahead of a closed-door UN Security Council meeting on the missile launch, U. Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley also made clear that Washington would only talk to North Korea once it halted its nuclear programme.
7.55pm BST: David Schmerler, a research associate at the James Martin Center for Nonproliferation Studies, told CNN that North Korea’s latest missile test was the first of its kind.
“This is the first successful test (of this type of missile) that we know of,” Mr Schmerler said of the Sunday test.
“One of the big takeaways is the missile’s performance, which might give credit to their own design capability.
The missile tested in the early hours of Sunday was a Hwasong-12 type rocket.
He added: “It outperformed previous, copied missile designs, which means that their ballistic missile program is moving at an accelerating rate.”
Noon BST: WannaCry ransomware cyber attack ‘may have a North Korea link’, according to one theory.
Security experts are cautiously linking the Lazarus Group, which works on behalf of the North Koreans, to the global cyber attack that affected the NHS.
Symantec and Kaspersky Lab have said that some code in an earlier version of the WannaCry software had also appeared in programmes used by the Lazarus Group.
Simon Choi, a senior researcher with Hauri Labs, said their findings were the same, adding: “It is similar to North Korea’s backdoor malicious codes.”
11am BST: North Korea’s recent missile test-launch was a legitimate act of self-defence under international law and US criticism of it a “wanton violation of the sovereignty and dignity of the DPRK, a North Korean diplomat told the UN Conference on Disarmament.
“The DPRK will bolster its self-defence capabilities as long as the United States continues its hostile policies towards the DPRK and imposes nuclear threats and makes blackmail,” North Korean diplomat Ju Yong Choi said.
9am BST: North Korea’s missile programme is progressing faster than expected, South Korea’s defence minister has said.
Han Min-koo told the South Korean parliament that North Korea’s test launch on Sunday was “successful in flight”.
“It is considered an IRBM (intermediate range ballistic missile) of enhanced calibre compared to Musudan missiles that have continually failed,” he said.
North Korea latest: South Korean Defense Minister Han Min-koo
“I’m not going to talk about various policy options that we may or may not consider, but I will say this: we are certainly engaged right now in looking at a number of measures – political, economic, security – to deal with these provocative acts by the DPRK, and dangerous acts in many cases,” he said.
“Ninety per cent of the DPRK’s trade is with China, so clearly there is a lot more leverage that China has, and we would like China to use.”
7am BST: The UN Security Council has demanded an end to North Korea’s missile tests and said it is ready to impose more sanctions on the reclusive nation.
The 15-member council said it was of vital importance that North Korea show “sincere commitment to denuclearization through concrete action and stressed the importance of working to reduce tensions”.
“To that end, the Security Council demanded the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea conduct no further nuclear and ballistic missile tests,” the council statement said, adding that it was ready to impose further sanctions on the country.
1.40pm BST: North Korea says it will continue to carry out intercontinental ballistic missile launches “any time, any place”, defying UN Security Council resolutions.
“The test-firing of ICBMs will occur at any time and place, at the will of North Korea’s highest leadership,” North Korea’s ambassador to China, Ji Jae Ryong, told the press in Beijing.
12.20pm BST: Vladimir Putin has said the world should talk to North Korea rather than threaten it after the latest missile test escalated tensions in the region.
The Russian president said: “This missile launch presented no threat to us, but it of course escalates this conflict and there is nothing good about that.”
Putin said nuclear tests of the type that Pyongyang had been carrying out were unacceptable, but that a peaceful solution to rising tensions on the Korean peninsula was needed.
He added: “We need to return to dialogue with North Korea and stop scaring it and find ways to resolve these problems peacefully.” HOW THE WORLD REACTED
The missile reached an altitude of more than 1,245 miles and is thought to have crashed in the Sea of Japan, near to the Russian town of Vladivostok.
11.30am BST: North Korea’s ambassador to China claimed the CIA and South Korean intelligence conspired “secretly and meticulously” in hatching their plot to use “radioactive or nano-poisonous substances” to assassinate Kim Jong-un.
An unidentified rocket similar to the one used in the latest missile test
10.20am BST: North Korea’s successful missile launch indicates a substantial advance in its drive for an intercontinental ballistic missile, according to monitors.
The range of the missile “represents a level of performance never before seen from a North Korean missile”, Washington-based monitoring project 38 North said in an analysis.
“It appears to have not only demonstrated an intermediate-range ballistic missile that might enable them to reliably strike the US base at Guam, but more importantly, may represent a substantial advance to developing an intercontinental ballistic missile,” it said.
The US military’s Pacific Command has said that the type of missile that was fired was “not consistent” with an ICBM.
8am BST: North Korea‘s KCNA state news agency has claimed that it successfully tested a “newly developed mid/long-range strategic ballistic rocket, Hwasong-12”.
“The test-fire aimed at verifying the tactical and technological specifications of the newly developed ballistic rocket capable of carrying a large-size heavy nuclear warhead,” it said.
The missile reached an altitude of more than 1,245 miles and is thought to have crashed in the Sea of Japan, about 60 miles from Vladivostok near the Russian border.
Kim Jong-un celebrates the testing of the long-range strategic ballistic rocket Hwasong-12
Kim Jong-un said: “The coward American-style fanfaronade militarily browbeating only weak countries and nations which have no nukes can never work on the DPRK.”
7am BST: The White House said: “With the missile impacting so close to Russian soil – in fact, closer to Russia than to Japan – the President cannot imagine that Russia is pleased.”
6am BST: Japanese prime minister Shinzo Abe said: “We will continue to closely coordinate with the United States and South Korea to respond to the North Korea situation.”
5am BST: The South Korea’s presidential office, known as the Blue House, said the newly-elected President Moon Jae-in “strongly condemns” the new missile test.
Nikki Haley says US will ‘continue to tighten the screws’
South Korea has sent special envoys to the US, China, Germany, Japan and Russia to explain the new government’s policy towards North Korea.
4am BST: Nikki Haley, US Ambassador to the UN, said the missile test sent a message to South Korea after the election of President Moon Jae-in last week.
Mrs Haley said: ”You first have to get into Kim Jong-Un’s head – which is, he’s in a state of paranoia, he’s incredibly concerned about anything and everything around him.”
She added the US will “continue to tighten the screws” on North Korea, citing sanctions and co-operation with the international community to put pressure on Pyongyang.