US, China held rare security meeting after North Korea launch

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Trump's comments were followed by United Nations ambassador Nikki Haley saying the ballistic missile launch "brings us closer to war". This is important given the calls for a tightening of global sanctions against North Korea. "You don't bully or play games with nuclear weapons", Haley said.

Trump's tweets further inflamed tensions reignited this week after North Korea said it had successfully tested a new intercontinental ballistic missile in a "breakthrough" that put the USA mainland within range of its nuclear weapons whose warheads could withstand re-entry to the Earth's atmosphere.

"They wanted (to be able) to hit all of the US and they wanted something big to hit it with", David Schmerler, a research associate at the James Martin Center for Nonproliferation Studies (CNS) told CNN.

US President Trump derided Kim Jong-un as a "sick puppy" and threatened "major" new sanctions after Pyongyang tested its third ICBM - which it claimed was capable of striking anywhere in the United States.

The shaded area shows the range of North Korea's latest missile if fired from within the country.

Tal Inbar, the head of the space research center at the Fisher Institute for Air and Space Strategic Studies, observed on Twitter that the reentry vehicle, or the tip of the missile that must return down to earth, was "HUGE".

On Thursday, North Korea's state media released photos of the Hwasong-15 launch.

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"Have we reached a dead end?"

"He wants our support for their efforts to pursue a hardline position vis a vis North Korea, and he has it".

In a call with Trump on Thursday, South Korean President Moon Jae-in said the missile launched this week was North Korea's most advanced so far, but it was unclear whether Pyongyang had the technology to miniaturize a nuclear warhead and it still needed to prove other things, such as its re-entry technology. It showed a capacity to improve upon its existing designs and to design new missiles independently.

"We know they were building to this". We do think they could do more with the oil.

Trump has pledged more sanctions in response to the latest test and, at an emergency U.N. Security Council meeting late Wednesday, the United States warned North Korea's leadership would be "utterly destroyed" if war were to break out.

The situation around North Korea escalated in recent months, following a number of nuclear and missile tests performed by the country. While Haley remarked that the "North Korean regime will be utterly destroyed" in such a war, she neglected to mention the damage that South Korea, and possibly the U.S., could also face from a North Korean nuclear attack.

"Initial calculations indicate the new missile could deliver a moderately sized nuclear weapon to any city on the US mainland", Elleman said.

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