North Korean diplomat tells UN that United States is real aggressor


South Korea's Yonhap news agency, without citing a source, reported that the South fired about 90 machine gun rounds into the air and towards North Korea.

The launch was the latest in a series this year as Pyongyang steps up its efforts to develop an intercontinental ballistic missile capable of hitting the United States.

The UNSC is also due to hold a meeting behind closed doors on Tuesday at the request of the US, Japan and South Korea to discuss the North latest Korean launch.

White House officials traveling in Saudi Arabia with President Donald Trump said the system, which was last tested in February, has a shorter range than the missiles launched in North Korea's most recent tests. It says the program is necessary to counter US aggression.

North Korea said on Monday that Sunday's launch met all technical requirements that could allow mass-production of the missile, which it calls the Pukguksong-2.

The Security Council adopted two sanctions resolutions past year to ramp up pressure on Pyongyang and deny leader Kim the hard currency needed to fund his military programs.

The North's latest launch came a week after North Korea successfully tested a new midrange missile that Pyongyang said could carry a heavy nuclear warhead.

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Kim was reportedly impressed by the images from a camera mounted on the missile during the test, saying that "it feels grand to look at the Earth from the rocket we launched and the entire world looks so lovely". This is the second missile launch since South Korean President Moon Jae-in's inauguration on May 10th and is likely to test the new administration's dual approach to the regime of denuclearization and dialogue.

The North's General Staff said the South's firing is a "reckless military provocation" aimed at promoting hostility toward Pyongyang and maintaining a confrontation on the Korean Peninsula. Local media had speculated the object was a North Korean military drone.

He added that a United States of America trade deal with China, North Korea's closest ally, would "be far better for them if they solve the North Korean problem!"

Aside from China and North Korea, the talks include the United States, South Korea, Russia and Japan.

He told reporters on Monday that France hopes the council will move ahead on a strong resolution that demands better implementation of existing sanctions and tougher new sanctions against North Korea.

The United States has also called on all states to sever or downgrade diplomatic and commercial relations with North Korea.