North Korea has accelerated its missile launch programme, despite tough UN sanctions aimed at denying leader Kim Jong-Un the hard currency needed to fund his weapons ambitions.
The UN Security Council has strongly condemned North korea’s latest ballistic missile test and vowed strong measures, including sanctions, to derail Pyongyang’s nuclear weapons programme.
Pyongyang said the new weapon — called the Hwasong-12 — was capable of carrying a “heavy nuclear warhead”.
In a unanimous statement backed by the North’s main ally China, the council on Monday vowed to punish Pyongyang’s “highly destabilizing behaviour” and demanded a halt to any further nuclear or missile tests.
Pyongyang carried out two atomic tests last year, and has accelerated its missile launch programme, despite tough UN sanctions aimed at denying leader Kim Jong-Un the hard currency needed to fund his weapons ambitions.
“There’s a lot of sanctions left that we can start to do, whether it’s with oil, whether it’s with energy, whether it’s with their maritime ships, exports,” US Ambassador Nikki Haley told ABC television’s “This Week”.“We can do a lot of different things that we haven’t done yet. So our options are there.”
The United States is in talks with China — Pyongyang’s main trading partner — on a possible new sanctions resolution and the Security Council is expected to hold a closed-door emergency meeting starting around 2000 GMT Tuesday.
On the respected 38 North website, aerospace engineering specialist John Schilling said it appeared to be an intermediate-range ballistic missile that could “reliably strike the US base at Guam” in the Pacific, 3,400 kilometres away.
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