South says North Korea's latest missile test is bigger threat

04 December, 2017, 01:02 | Author: Ora Austin

North Korea has tested intercontinental ballistic missiles before, but researchers found them prohibitively small for delivering a heavy nuclear device halfway around the world to the continental US.

Tillerson on Thursday welcomed Chinese efforts on North Korea, but said Beijing could do more to limit its oil exports to the country. "If war comes, make no mistake: The North Korean regime will be utterly destroyed".

North Korea tested a new ICBM, which Pyongyang claims is capable of reaching any target in the continental United States.

Ms Haley warned that "continued acts of aggression" were only serving to further destabilise the region.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said Washington's approach was dangerously provocative.

"The Americans should explain to all of us what they are trying to do - if they want to find a pretext for destroying North Korea they should come clean about it, and the American leadership should confirm it", he told reporters.

The US earlier pressed for a full oil embargo on North Korea after it tested its most powerful nuclear bomb to date in September, but dropped that demand in negotiations on a sanctions resolution with China. But China has refused to turn off its pipeline shipping crude to the North Beijing fears that taking tougher actions could cause the regime to collapse, triggering a refugee crisis across its border with the North and eliminating a strategic buffer separating China from the U.S. military in South Korea.

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"We know the main driver of its nuclear production is oil", she said.

During an hourlong telephone conversation late Thursday, Moon told US President Donald Trump that it was not clear whether North Korea's ICBM development reached completion as it claimed. The North said the weapon could land anywhere in the continental United States and France said Europe was also in striking distance. China is North Korea's neighbor and its sole major trading partner.

USA -based experts, some of whom have been skeptical about past North Korean claims to have put all of the United States in range, said data from the latest test and the photos appeared to confirm North Korea has a missile of sufficient power to deliver a nuclear warhead anywhere in America.

Photos released by North Korean media show the launch process as supervised by the country's leader, Kim Jong Un, and reveal a new missile, the Hwasong-15, that is unlike anything previously seen from the nation.

Mr Xi responded by telling Mr Trump it was Beijing's "unswerving goal to maintain peace and stability in north-east Asia and denuclearise the Korean peninsula", Chinese news agency Xinhua reported.

North Korea said on Wednesday it had successfully tested a powerful new intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) that put the entire USA mainland within range of its nuclear weapons.



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