by Alix Culbertson · May 14, 2017
Kim Jong-un is in a state of paranoia, Nikki Haley said
Nikki Haley, US Ambassador to the United Nations, called the launch early on Sunday morning local time a message by Pyongyang to South Korea after the election of President Moon Jae-in, who took office on Wednesday.
She said: ”You first have to get into Kim Jong-Un’s head – which is, he’s in a state of paranoia, he’s incredibly concerned about anything and everything around him.”
Mrs Haley added the United States will “continue to tighten the screws” on North Korea, mentioning sanctions and working with the international community to put pressure on Pyongyang.
On Monday morning, North Korea claimed it succeeded in launching a ground-to-ground intermediate ballistic missile.
Japanese Defence Minister tommy Inada said the missile could be a new type compared to the five other unsuccessful nuclear tests carried out by North Korea since 2006, with two of them in the past year.
He revealed it flew for 30 minutes before dropping into the sea between North Korea’s east coast and Japan, in the same direction North Korea consistently fires missiles.
A US official, speaking on condition of anonymity, said initial assessments showed the missile landed 60miles (97km) south of Russia’s Vladivostok region.
Russian President Vladimir Putin’s spokesman, Dmitry Peskov, said his boss and Chinese President Xi Jinxing had discussed the situation and expressed “mutual concerns” about growing tensions”.
The missile flew 430miles (700km) and reached an altitude of more than 2,000km (1,245 miles), according to officials in South Korea and Japan, further and higher than an intermediate-range missile North Korea successfully tested in February from the same region of Kusong, northwest of its capital Pyongyang.
Mrs Haley was speaking at a National Security Council meeting called by Moon Jae-in in response to the launch, which he called a “clear violation” of UN Security Council resolutions, his office said.
The UN Security Council is due to meet on Tuesday to discuss the launch, diplomats said on Sunday.
The US military’s Pacific Command said it was assessing the type of missile that was fired but it was “not consistent with an intercontinental ballistic missile”.
The US threat assessment has not changed from a national security standpoint, a US official said.
North Korea claimed the missile launch test was successful
An intercontinental ballistic missile is considered to have a range of more than 3,700 miles(6,000km).
The White House mentioned Russia in its earlier statement about the launch.
It said: ”With the missile impacting so close to Russian soil – in fact, closer to Russia than to Japan – the President cannot imagine that Russia is pleased.”
The launch served as a call for all nations to implement stronger sanctions against North Korea, it added.
Kim Jong-un has been showing off his military might
Donald Trump said he would meeting Kim Jong-un under the right circumstances
North Korea is widely believed to be developing an intercontinental missile tipped with a nuclear weapon capable of reaching the United States, something Mr Trump has vowed not to let happen.
Experts said the altitude reached by the missile tested on Sunday morning meant it was launched at a high trajectory, which would limit the lateral distance it travelled.
But if it was fired at a standard trajectory, it would have a range of at least 2,500miles (4,000km), experts said.
Kim Dong-yub of Kyungnam University’s Institute of Far Eastern Studies in Seoul said he estimated a standard trajectory would give it a range of 3,700miles (6,000km).
Ambassador Haley said the launch was not the way for North Korea to earn a meeting with Mr Trump, who has said he would be “honoured” to meet Kim Jong Un under the right circumstances.
Mr Trump said in April a “major, major conflict” with North Korea was possible but he would prefer a diplomatic outcome.
On Saturday, a top North Korean diplomat said Pyongyang was open to dialogue with the Trump administration under the right conditions.