North Korea Monday celebrated the launch of what appeared to be its longest-range ballistic missile yet tested in a bid to bring the United States mainland within reach, saying it was capable of carrying a "heavy nuclear warhead".
USA officials had yet to react to the North's claim, but Japan said, regardless, the new test showed "some progress" in the isolated country's missile programme and was thus further evidence that "we have entered a new level of threat regarding North Korea".
The White House said in a statement Saturday that the president "cannot imagine that Russia is pleased" after North Korea launched a missile that came down near the Russian coast and demonstrated a jump in their missile technology.
Earlier on Monday, North Korea's KCNA state news agency said the test of a "newly developed mid/long-range strategic ballistic rocket, Hwasong-12" had gone to plan.
If it had been fired at a normal angle, analysts say, it could have flown much farther - estimates vary between 4,000 and 7,000 kilometers (2,500 and 4,350 miles), the upper number putting Alaska and possibly Hawaii within striking distance.
The 38 North analysis points out that the distance flown by the missile means it could strike a USA military base at Guam.
KCNA said the new rocket was a "perfect weapon" which was "capable of carrying a large-size heavy nuclear warhead".
Washington and Tokyo called for an emergency meeting of the United Nations Security Council, which was scheduled for Tuesday afternoon.
The North attempted but failed to test-launch ballistic missiles four consecutive times in the past two months but has conducted a variety of missile testing since the beginning of a year ago at an unprecedented pace.
The test is the 10th missile launch of this year and follows a string of unusual activity from Kim Jong-un.
Mr Schilling said the ability to hit Guam, 3,400km away, was not a game-changer, but that the new missile could be a step along the way.
US Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley delivers remarks at a Security Council in April at the United Nations Headquarters, in NY.
"The situation on the Korean peninsula is at the most unstable point since the armistice and the administration must immediately ramp up the sanctions track, especially against the Chinese that are enabling North Korea's nuclear program", he said in a statement.
North Korea has maintained that the missile test was in response to the nuclear dangers and threats posed by the USA and its allies.
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