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United States ambassador: North Korea missile 'brings us closer to war'

United States ambassador: North Korea missile 'brings us closer to war'

The US ambassador to the United Nations said the launch took the US "closer to war", but experts say the US may just have to accept North Korea as a nuclear state. "And I don't mean 'Big for North Korea.' Only a few countries can produce missiles of this size, and North Korea just joined the club".

On Wednesday the North launched a test launch and on Thursday released dozens of photos of the missile in the paper and online editions of the ruling party's official daily.

The Defense Ministry has assessed North Korea's Hwasong-15, fired Wednesday, to be a new intercontinental ballistic missile-grade projectile.

President Donald Trump tweeted that he spoke with Chinese President Xi Jinping about Pyongyang's "provocative actions", and he vowed that "additional major sanctions would be imposed on North Korea today".

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The missile is said to have flown almost 2,800 miles high and for a distance of more than 600 miles.

The US has repeatedly said that it will not accept North Korea as a nuclear power and that it will consider military intervention to stop it. However, North Korea's leader Kim Jong-un called the launch "impeccable" and a "breakthrough".

The months-long nuclear standoff between Kim and Trump has fueled concerns of another conflict, but even some Trump advisers say USA military options are limited when Pyongyang could launch an artillery barrage on the South Korean capital, Seoul, which is about 50km from the border and home to 10 million people.

He said this is probably much lighter than any real nuclear payload the North can produce.

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Mr Trump also "emphasised the need for China to use all available levers to convince North Korea to end its provocations and return to the path of denuclearisation".

Mr Xi responded by telling Mr Trump it was Beijing's "unswerving goal to maintain peace and stability in north-east Asia and denuclearise the Korean peninsula", Chinese news agency Xinhua reported.

Some observers believe the Hwasong-15 missile that was tested on a high trajectory and splashed down in the Sea of Japan in the early hours of Wednesday in Asia could potentially reach Washington and the entire eastern USA seaboard.

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