US, Japan, S.Korea call 'urgent' Security Council meet

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A South Korean military official said the missile appeared to be an upgraded, extended-range version of the North's solid-fuel submarine-launched missile.

North Korea, which conducted two missile tests this month, has been ratchetting up military tension on the Korean Peninsula in defiance of worldwide condemnation and sanctions.

Western missile technology analysts say North Korea's claim that its missiles can now reach the exaggerated.

That number is an estimate derived from a report, jointly prepared by US and South Korea militaries, that states North Korea could have as many as 900 ballistic missiles in its arsenal, according to the report.

David Wright, an expert on North Korea's missiles and nuclear programme who is with the Union of Concerned Scientists, said that the Pukguksong-2's solid fuel is of particular concern.

The South's Joint Chiefs of Staff said it could not yet identify the type of missile fired from Pukchang in South Pyongan province but it travelled about 500 km (311 miles).

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The test of the Pukguksong-2 missile in February came shortly after Mr Trump's inauguration in late January.

"There was a basic exchange of opinions about North Korea's nuclear and missile provocations", Yoon said about the meeting between Chung and Pottinger.

KCNA said the test was meant to verify technical indexes of the weapon system and examine its adaptability under various battle conditions before deployment to military units.

The North Korean leader also described Pukguksong-2 as a "successful strategic weapon", with a "very accurate" hit rate.

It also had several pictures of the Earth said to have been taken from the rocket from space―the first such pictures released by the North. North Korea called that launch a success test of a missile that could carry a heavy nuclear warhead.

The issue of THAAD deployment on the peninsula was not raised during Hong's discussions with Trump, but the former South Korean diplomat said the USA missile defense system was addressed during a separate meeting with Gen. McMaster. "By contrast, large liquid-fuel missiles must be without fuel and then fueled after they are in place at the launch site".

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It's moving ahead with its nuclear weapons program as well.

"The Trump administration would be well advised to lend an ear to the voices of concern that are heard from the US and the worldwide community", North Korea's Minju Joson newspaper said in a commentary Sunday.

"The repeated provocation is a reckless and irresponsible behavior, like pouring cold water on the wishes of our new government and the global community for denuclearization and peace to prevail in the Korean Peninsula", said a statement from South Korea's Foreign Ministry. "This is the [the Democratic People's Republic of Korea's] answer to the Trump administration".

Experts say solid fuel engines and mobile launchers make it more hard to detect signs of launch preparations.

Kim said the test showed the missile is ready for deployment and mass production, according to KCNA.

Earlier this year, the North Korean leader had warned they were in the advanced stages of developing an intercontinental missile, that would be able to reach the US.

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