UN condemns North Korea's 'highly provocative' missile test

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Associated Press

The UN Security Council strongly condemned North Korea's "highly provocative" ballistic missile test today and demanded that Pyongyang immediately halt its "outrageous actions" and demonstrate its commitment to denuclearising the Korean peninsula.

The UN's most powerful body accused North Korea of undermining regional peace and security by launching its latest missile over Japan and said its nuclear and missile tests "have caused grave security concerns around the world" and threaten all 193 UN member states.

North Korea's longest-ever test flight of a ballistic missile yesterday from Sunan, the location of Pyongyang's international airport, signalled both defiance of North Korea's rivals and a big technological advance.

After hurtling over Japan, it landed in the northern Pacific Ocean.

Since US President Donald Trump threatened North Korea with "fire and fury" in August, the North has conducted its most powerful nuclear test, threatened to send missiles into the waters around the U.S. Pacific island territory of Guam and launched two missiles of increasing range over Japan.

July saw the country's first tests of intercontinental ballistic missiles that could strike deep into the US mainland when perfected.

The intermediate-range missile test came four days after the Security Council imposed tough new sanctions on the North for its September 4 missile test including a ban on textile exports and natural gas imports - and caps on its import of oil and petroleum products.

The US said the latest sanctions, combined with previous measures, would ban over 90 percent of North Korea's exports reported in 2016, its main source of hard currency used to finance its nuclear and missile programs.

North Korea's Foreign Ministry denounced the sanctions and said the North would "redouble its efforts to increase its strength to safeguard the country's sovereignty and right to existence."

The Security Council stressed in Friday's press statement after a closed-door emergency meeting that all countries must "fully, comprehensively and immediately" implement all UN sanctions.

Japan's UN Ambassador Koro Bessho called the launch an "outrageous act" that is not only a threat to Japan's security but a threat to the world as a whole."

Bessho and the British, French and Swedish ambassadors demanded that all sanctions be implemented.

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