Source: News Bharati English13 Feb 2017 18:14:15

Pyongyang/New York, Feb 13: North Korea, early on Sunday, successfully testest-fired new type of medium-to-long range ballistic missile, claiming further advancement in its arsenal, reports Reuters.

The missile was launched from the Bangyong air base, in the north-west of the country. After travelling 500km, it sunk in the Sea of Japan (East Sea, according to the North Koreans). It used solid fuel, which gives the missile greater power and range.

This is seen at as an attempt to test US President Donald Trump’s vow to impose tough restrictions on the isolated regime that tested nuclear devices and ballistic missiles at an unprecedented rate last year.

The North Korea's state-run KCNA news agency said North Korean leader Kim-Jong-Un supervised the test of the Pukguksong-2, a new type of strategic weapon capable of carrying a nuclear warhead.

The United States, Japan and South Korea requested urgent U.N. Security Council consultations on the grounds of the missile test, with a meeting expected on Monday afternoon, an official in the U.S. mission to the United Nations said, reports Reuters.

The United Nations resolutions prohibit North Korea from carrying out missile tests, to curb its efforts to become a nuclear military power, but for years Pyongyang refuses to submit.

This latest test is seen by analysts as a provocation to the strengthening of the alliance between the United States, Japan and South Korea. In fact, Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe is in the US and spent the weekend with the newly elected President Donald Trump. Abe has called Pyongyang’s actions “intolerable”. Trump did not comment on the missile launch but said that the US is “100%” beside Japan.

The Korean Foreign Ministry called the test “an armed provocation” to test President Trump’s  reactions.

Japan said on Monday further sanctions against Pyongyang could be discussed at the United Nations, and called on China to take a "constructive" role in responding to the latest launch.

China is North Korea’s main ally and trading partner but is irritated by Pyongyang’s repeated provocations, although it resists calls from the United States and others.

“We have asked China on various levels to take constructive actions as a permanent member of the U.N. Security Council and we will continue to work on it. At the same time, Japan will continue to urge North Korea to exercise self-restraint from provocative actions and comply with U.N. resolutions,” Japan's Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga said on Monday.

NATO also condemned the missile test, with Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg urging North Korea "not to raise tensions further and to re-engage in a credible and meaningful dialogue with the international community.”

North Korea has conducted five nuclear tests, including two last years. Its claims to have miniaturised a nuclear weapon to be mounted on a missile have never been verified independently.

KCNA said the missile was fired at a high angle in consideration of the safety of neighbouring countries. The missile was propelled by a solid-fuel engine and was an upgraded, extended-range version of its submarine-launched ballistic missile that was tested successfully last August, according to KCNA.