The UN Security Council held an emergency meeting on 5 July 2017, a day after North Korea announced that it had successfully tested its first intercontinental ballistic missile.
The urgent meeting was requested by the United States, which confirmed it was an ICBM launch. The US request was backed by Japan and South Korea.
• The launch of the Hwasong-14 missile was overseen by North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un.
• The US secretary of state, Rex Tillerson confirmed the missile launched was indeed an ICBM.
• The missile is said to have reached an altitude of 2,802 kilometers (1,741 miles) and flown for about 933 kms, according to North Korea’s Academy of Defence Science.
• According to experts, it is capable of reaching Alaska but not other parts of the continental United States.
UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres strongly condemned the launch, warning that it constitutes a dangerous escalation of the situation. He further stressed on the importance of having a united approach to addressing the North Korean crisis.
The launch came as Americans prepared to mark their Independence Day, prompting President Donald Trump to urge China to act to end this nonsense once and for all. China, North Korea’s only ally, is pushing for talks between world powers and North Korea on dismantling the nuclear programme.
The United States conducted joint military drills with South Korea in response to North Korea’s ICBM launch during which both the countries fired ballistic missiles into the South Korea’s territorial waters in the Sea of Japan.
Speaking on the occasion, South Korean President Moon Jae-in said the allies needed to demonstrate their missile defence posture "with action, not just a statement".
In a joint statement, Gen Vincent Brooks, commander of US Forces Korea and Gen Lee Sun-jin, South Korean Joint Chiefs Chairman said the allies were maintaining patience and self-restraint, but this could change.
US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson also emphasised that global action is required to stop a global threat and warned that any nation that provided economic or military benefits to the North or failed to fully implement UN Security Council resolutions, was aiding and abetting a dangerous regime.
Meanwhile, China and Russia have urged the North to suspend its weapons programme in exchange for a halt to US-South Korean military exercises. The US, however, maintains that Pyongyang must first halt its missile launches and nuclear test.
The launch, the latest in a series of tests by Pyongyang, was in defiance of a ban by the UN Security Council. North Korea is barred under UN resolutions from developing missile and nuclear technology.
The Security Council adopted two sanctions resolutions in 2016 to increase pressure on Pyongyang and also added 14 North Korean officials and four entities to the sanctions blacklist last month.
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