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UN Security Council slams latest ballistic missile launches

UN Security Council slams latest ballistic missile launches

Trump also has flexed US military muscle, though with little apparent effect in deterring North Korean leader Kim Jong Un from his rapid tempo of weapons tests.

North Korea has carried out two atomic tests and dozens of missile launches since the beginning of previous year.

That is a slap in the face for South Korea's new president, Moon Jae-in, who has promised greater engagement with the North, and suggests that the missile launch was an attempt to improve Pyongyang's negotiating position with a more hardline USA under President Donald Trump.

A day before, North Korea fired off a missile that landed in the sea near Russian Federation. Pyongyang's push to boost its weapons program also makes it one of the Trump administration's most urgent foreign policy worries, though Washington has struggled to settle on a policy.

North Korea is barred from ballistic missile technology under multiple Security Council resolutions.

The ruler also pledged further missile tests and nuclear detonations, despite repeated warnings by President Trump.

Iran's Hassan Rouhani leads initial count in presidential election
Final results are expected to be announced at 14:00 local time (09:30GMT), according to election official Ali Asghar Ahmadi. Raisi ran a populist campaign, vowing to fight corruption and fix the economy while boosting welfare payments to the poor.

In a unanimously agreed statement, the 15-member council said it was of vital importance that North Korea shows "sincere commitment to denuclearisation through concrete action and stressed the importance of working to reduce tensions".

Other experts quickly jumped on this as sign - although not conclusive - that North Korea may have been behind the outbreak. The adoption of the statement comes on the eve of an emergency, closed-door meeting of the Security Council scheduled for Tuesday.

Aside from space launches, Jeffrey Lewis of the Middlebury Institute of International Studies in the USA said, "this is the longest-range missile North Korea has ever tested". Kim witnessed the test and "hugged officials in the field of rocket research, saying that they worked hard to achieve a great thing", KCNA said.

Japanese officials say the missile flew for about 30 minutes, traveling about 800 kilometers (500 miles) and reaching an altitude of 2,000 kilometers (1,240 miles).

Outsiders express more skepticism about North Korea's nuclear warhead claims.

In his first comments since a North Korean missile plunged into the sea off the Russian coast on Sunday, President Vladimir Putin condemned Pyongyang's nuclear program as "harmful and unsafe", but he added that the global community should respond with talks, not threats.

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But Prime Minister Theresa May's Conservatives immediately slammed the plan as "nonsensical" and not properly cost. Sensible, costed and when tested, our policies are highly popular with the public", he told AFP.

The missile was launched on an unusually vertical trajectory.

Asked whether North Korea's missile program was developing faster than expected, he said: "Yes". They've failed to stop the North's progress, which includes five nuclear test explosions since 2006.

Han said the Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) anti-missile unit deployed by the USA military in the South detected the North Korean missile, marking the first time the controversial system has been put to use since its deployment last month.

Since the last resolution, the harshest to date, was adopted in November, an emphasis has been put on having all countries implement the sanctions measures - including China, which is the North's closest ally and is accused of laxity with loopholes.

South Korean President Moon Jae-in slammed the latest missile test as a "reckless provocation".

Han said South Korea's military separately detected the Sunday launch, using its own intelligence assets.

Blue Jays player suspended for calling pitcher gay slur
The first time was when Toronto center fielder Kevin Pillar yelled a homophobic slur at Atlanta pitcher Jason Motte . He will forfeit approximately $6,066 of his $550,000 salary, with the money donated to charity.


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