North Korea test fires long-range missile with US in range

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According to officials in Seoul and Tokyo, North Korea launched another long-range ballistic missile on Monday with the potential to strike the United States, continuing a record-breaking number of weapons tests this year that the West has denounced.

The firing followed the test of a shorter range missile on Sunday night, with the back-to-back launches coming immediately in the wake of another bout of fearsome rhetoric between North Korea and the U.S.-South Korean allies.

South Korea’s military said it had detected the launch of a long-range ballistic missile from the Pyongyang area on Monday morning that flew 1,000 kilometres (620 miles) before splashing down in the East Sea, also known as the Sea of Japan.

The South reported the missile flew up rather than across, a method Pyongyang has previously said it employs in some weapons tests to avoid flying over neighbouring countries.

Japan’s defence ministry said it was an ICBM-class missile with a potential range of more than 15,000 kilometres that would cover all of the United States.

Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida described the two launches as a “threat to peace and stability”, while the U.S. State Department also quickly condemned them.

“These launches, like the other ballistic missile launches Pyongyang has conducted this year, are in violation of multiple United Nations Security Council resolutions,” a U.S. State Department said in a statement to AFP.

The United Nations Security Council has adopted many resolutions calling on North Korea to halt its nuclear and ballistic missile programmes since it first conducted a nuclear test in 2006.

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