Japan, S. Korean defense ministers vow to work together on N. Korea

North Korean leader Kim Jong-un hailed the launch on Sunday as a test of the "perfect weapon system" and capable of carrying "a large-size heavy nuclear warhead".

North Korea's missile test on Sunday was the country's most successful yet, according to analysts, who say Pyongyang may now have a weapon capable of hitting a key USA military base in the Pacific.

SEOUL, Korea, Republic Of - North Korea's latest ballistic missile test may be almost as big a deal as its propaganda machine claims. North Korea's push to boost its weapons programme also makes it one of the Trump administration's most urgent foreign policy worries.

"(The global community) has the shared view that North Korea's nuclear and missile provocations pose a grave threat to peace and security in the region and beyond the peninsula", Lee Duk-haeng, ministry spokesman, told a regular press briefing.

"North Korea's latest successful missile test represents a level of performance never before seen from a North Korean missile", Schilling wrote. And Japanese Defense Minister Tomomi Inada suggested that it might be a new type of missile altogether, noting that it reached an altitude of 2,000 km (1,240 miles) and remained in the air for 30 minutes.

"This is the longest-range missile North Korea has ever tested", Jeffrey Lewis of the Middlebury Institute of International Studies told AFP.

But, he added: "We must stop intimidating North Korea and find a peaceful solution to this problem".

The intermediate-range ballistic missile may represent a "substantial advance to developing an intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM)", Schilling wrote, adding that the missile would allow North Korea to conduct at least some of the testing necessary to develop an operational ICBM without actually launching them.

Russian government releases photos of Oval Office meeting
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The U.N. Security Council is due to meet Tuesday to discuss North Korea's latest missile, which the White House said should "serve as a call for all nations to implement far stronger sanctions" against Pyongyang.

Despite North Korea's claim that Sunday's test simulated a re-entry situation, South Korean defence officials say the North probably has yet to master the technology.

KCNA said Kim accused the United States of "browbeating" countries that "have no nukes", warning Washington not to misjudge the reality that its mainland is in the North's "sighting range for strike".

Moon kept open the possibility of an inter-Korea summit, initially proposed last Wednesday in his inaugural speech, but said it can only be held when Pyongyang "changes its behavior". "This could also be an opportunity for China to show that it can initiate some plausible plans to handle the North Korea issue within the framework of the worldwide community", Su said.

North Korea has been a flagrant menace for far too long.

On Monday, Russian President Vladimir Putin condemned the launch as "counterproductive, damaging, dangerous".

The launch came as troops from the U.S., Japan and two European nations gather near Guam for drills that are partly a message to North Korea. In a show of force, the United States sent an aircraft carrier strike group, led by the USS Carl Vinson, to waters off the Korean peninsula to conduct drills with South Korea and Japan.

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