UN strongly condemns North Korea's latest missile launch

The statement denounced the North's missile launch, which took place on Tuesday Korean time, as a grave violation of U.N. Security Council resolutions that ban Pyongyang from any ballistic missile activity because the technology could be used in making nuclear missiles.

North Korea has stepped up the frequency of missile and nuclear weapons tests over the past two years and experts say it is closing in on the ability to hit the United States with a missile.

Lori Robinson said North Korea "can't reach our homeland" right now.

A USA official said Wednesday's missile test ended in failure when the rocket spun out of control and plunged into the ocean in a fiery crash.

Scuds are filled with liquid fuel that make them harder to transport and prepare for launch than the more sophisticated solid-fuel rockets that the United States and other nations use. North Korea denied any involvement in that attack. The missile launched in February flew about 500 kilometers (310 miles), but it wasn't immediately clear if the shorter distance meant Wednesday's launch was a failure.

As the leaders of China and the United States sit down for a summit on Thursday, North Korea has made sure it also has something on the negotiating table: A nuclear-tipped bargaining chip. While submarines are also a stealthy way to do that, North Korea doesn't have enough of them.

The council statement was issued hours before U.S. President Donald Trump meets China's President Xi Jinping at his Florida resort, where North Korea will be at the top of the agenda.

Cheong Seong-chang, a senior research fellow at Sejong Institute outside Seoul, said that could come in the form of another nuclear or ICBM test after the summit.

"I've joked before that they don't mind being hated but they definitely hate to be ignored", Cossa said.

From a year ago, North Korea took the rare step of publicising images of its missile equipment tests, convincing analysts that Pyongyang's banned programme was further along toward successfully testing an intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) than first thought.

Analysts says North might time nuclear and long-range rocket tests to the April 15 birthday of North Korea founder Kim Il Sung, the late grandfather of current leader Kim Jong Un.

Two weeks ago, the South Korean and USA militaries said they had detected a failed North Korean ballistic missile launch.

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