North Korea Says Missile Launch was New Type of Rocket
North Korea's latest missile launch was a successful test of a new type of rocket, Pyongyang's state media reported.
North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un. (FILE PHOTO: REUTERS)
Seoul: North Korea's latest missile launch was a successful test of a new type of rocket, Pyongyang's state media reported.
The isolated North is under multiple sets of United Nations sanctions over its nuclear and missile programmes, which have set alarm bells ringing around the region and in Washington.
The North says it needs atomic weapons to defend itself against the threat of invasion and is widely believed to be making progress in its quest to develop a missile capable of delivering a nuclear warhead to the continental United States -- something President Donald Trump has vowed "won't happen".
Tensions between the two reached new heights in recent weeks, with Washington saying military action was an option being considered and Pyongyang issuing threats of its own, sending fears of conflict spiralling.
Last week the South also elected a new president, Moon Jae-In, who advocates reconciliation with Pyongyang and said at his inauguration that he was willing "in the right circumstances" to visit the North to ease tensions.
But he slammed the missile test as a "reckless provocation" after holding an emergency meeting with national security advisers.
Dialogue would be possible "only if the North changes its attitude", he said according to his spokesman.
The missile followed its preset flight path to reach an altitude of 2,111.5 kilometres and travelled 787 kilometres, coming down at the "precise location intended", it added.
Since the beginning of last year the North has carried out two atomic tests and dozens of missile launches as it seeks to refine its weapons.
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