South Korea fires at North 'object'

Jupiter's south pole as seen by NASA's Juno spacecraft from an altitude of 32,000 miles

Jupiter's south pole as seen by NASA's Juno spacecraft from an altitude of 32,000 miles

The official Korean Central News Agency said Monday morning that the military had tested a medium-to-long range ballistic missile called the Pukguksong-2. It did not immediately provide more details.

Sunday's missile test was tracked by US Pacific Command.

South Korea's Joint Chiefs of Staff said in a statement that the country's military "is closely monitoring the North Korean military for any further provocation and maintaining readiness to respond".

People watch a TV news program showing a file image of a missile launch by North Korea, at the Seoul Railway Station in Seoul, South Korea, Sunday, May 21, 2017.

GENEVA May 23 North Korea's recent missile tests are a legitimate act of self-defence by a "fully-fledged nuclear power" and are not against worldwide law, North Korean diplomat Ju Yong Chol told the U.N. Conference on Disarmament on Tuesday. In addition, the North-Korean government claimed their experts developed a large-range missile, able to reach all the way to America.

The United States, South Korea and Japan sharply denounced the launch and jointly requested an emergency meeting of the United Nations Security Council on the matter.

The missile flew about 500 km (310 miles), it said.

North Korea has carried out two atomic tests and dozens of missile launches since the beginning of a year ago in its quest to develop a missile capable of delivering a nuclear warhead to the continental United States. North Korea has flown drones over the border in the past.

On Sunday US secretary of state Rex Tillerson termed North Korea's missile testing "disappointing, disturbing" and said economic and diplomatic pressure would continue.

It was the latest test-firing in a series this year as Pyongyang steps up its efforts to develop an intercontinental ballistic missile capable of hitting the United States.

At a time when U.S. President Donald Trump is considering diplomatic and other options including sanctions to counter the threat posed by North Korea's nuclear programme, Pyongyang fired an unidentified projectile showing its defiant behaviour to the global community.

The use of solid fuel presents advantages for weapons because the fuel is more stable and can be transported easily in the missile's tank allowing for a launch at very short notice.

It also warned additional sanctions against the reclusive country.

The Security Council is strongly condemning North Korea's "flagrant and provocative defiance" of United Nations sanctions banning ballistic missile tests and again vowing to impose new sanctions.

Experts say solid fuel engines and mobile launchers make it more hard to detect signs of launch preparations.

Analysts say the missile launched last week traveled in an unusually high trajectory, indicating that it might be a new two-stage liquid fueled rocket capable of flying up to 4,500 kilometers.

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