Published: Wed, May 24, 2017
Worldwide | By Sean Reid

China urges North Korea to not violate UN resolutions again


However, there are reports that suggest that North Korea is still capable of launching nuclear warheads that could cross the Pacific Ocean and reach the United States.

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

Tuesday's video conference, which lasted for almost two hours, came as the North has carried out eight ballistic missile launches this year alone, with the most recent on May 14th and 21st.

But South Korea is seeking to cast doubt on that claim.

Pyongyang conducted two unauthorized nuclear test explosions past year and about two dozen rocket launches.

The UN Security Council is due to meet on Tuesday behind closed doors to discuss Sunday's test, which defies Security Council resolutions and sanctions.

North Korea on Monday said it had successfully tested what it called an intermediate-range ballistic missile.

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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.

U.S. President Donald Trump has warned that a "major, major conflict" with North Korea is possible over its weapons programmes, although U.S. officials say tougher sanctions, not military force, are the preferred option to counter the North Korean threat.

North Korea's state news agency, KCNA, said the latest missile test was supervised by leader Kim Jong Un and verified the reliability of Pukguksong-2's solid-fuel engine, stage separation and late-stage guidance for a nuclear warhead.

US-based experts said the Pukguksong-2 would have a maximum range of about 1,500 km and questioned North Korea's assertion that the reliability of the solid-fuel missile had been proven, given limited testing.

It said South Korea was analyzing whether a North Korean military drone had crossed the border. That missile traveled about 500 kilometers before crashing into the sea, according to South Korean and USA officials.

Kim, the North Korean envoy, told Friday's news conference that if the Trump administration wants peace on the Korean Peninsula it should replace the Armistice Agreement that ended the 1950-53 Korean War with a peace accord and halt its anti-North Korea policy, "the root cause of all problems". In January 2016, South Korea said its military fired 20 machine gun warning shots after a North Korean drone briefly crossed the border.

Pyongyang's main ally, China, has called on "all parties to remain calm, exercise self-restraint and avoid taking provocative actions that would escalate the tensions".

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