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North Korea calls ballistic missile test-fire a success
Monday, 13 February 2017
North Korea calls ballistic missile test-fire a success

North Korea says it has successfully completed the launch of a new ballistic missile, according to state media.

The device was described as a “surface-to-surface medium-to-long-range ballistic missile”, the Korean state news agency KCNA reported.

The Pukguksong-2, a medium long-range ballistic missile, was test fired on Sunday under the supervision of North Korean leader Kim Jong Un.

South Korea’s defence ministry called it an armed provocation to test the response of US President Donald Trump.

North Korea’s latest ballistic missile test has been widely condemned.

The US, Japan and South Korea have requested an urgent meeting of the United Nations Security Council to discuss the incident.

KCNA reported that the test of the Pukguksong-2 missile, a new type of strategic weapon said to be capable of carrying a nuclear warhead, was overseen by leader Kim Jong-un.

It added that the missile was fired at a high angle in consideration of neighbouring countries.

The rocket used a solid-fuel engine, the report said, which gives ballistic rockets greater power and range.

The report also said that Kim Jong-un “expressed great satisfaction” over the test launch, which it said “adds to the tremendous might of the country”.

South Korea and US officials said the missile flew east towards the Sea of Japan for about 500km (300 miles).

The missile reached an altitude of about 550km (350 miles), the South Korean military said.

Experts suggest the tests are programmed for shorter distances to avoid a missile landing on Japan.

This was the latest in a series of tests in the past year, including North Korea’s fifth of a nuclear device.

The launch took place at 07:55 local time (22:55 GMT Saturday) from the Panghyon air base in North Pyongan province on the west side of the Korean peninsula.

United Nations resolutions forbid North Korea from carrying out ballistic missile tests – part of wider efforts to prevent it becoming a fully nuclear-armed power.

South Korea’s foreign ministry said that “North Korea’s repeated provocations show the Kim Jong-un regime’s nature of irrationality, maniacally obsessed in its nuclear and missile development”.

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