N.Korea: Kim visits missile truck tire factory

United Nations Security Council ministers will meet on December 15 to discuss North Korea's nuclear and missiles programs and the body will also meet separately this month to discuss human rights abuses in the North Asian country, an annual meeting that its ally China has tried to prevent for the past three years.

North Korea has boasted - and Western experts agree - that the Hwasong-15 missile tested on Wednesday is capable of reaching the United States, raising the prospect of a direct nuclear threat to Washington.

North Korea conducted its sixth nuclear test this year and test-fired a series of advanced missiles, including intercontinental ballistic missiles, even as 18 million North Koreans, or 70 percent of the population, are struggling with food shortages.

The country's state media announced the test on Wednesday, hours after leader Kim Jong Un ordered the launch of the Hwasong-15 missile, which reached the highest altitude ever recorded by a North Korean missile.

Since fleeing the isolated empire in 2010, she said she has suffered chronic pain as a result of living near North Korea's Punggye-ri nuclear testing site.

North Korean officials made similar comments last month.

Russian Federation and China have proposed a roadmap for defusing the crisis in the region.

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It is likely the ballistic missile, fired higher than any previous North Korean missile, broke up as it re-entered Earth's atmosphere, the official said. "I think we're really running out of time".

Meanwhile, South Korean media showed six US Air Force F-22 Raptors, Washington's top-of-the-line stealth fighters, arriving in South Korea on Saturday to participate in the Vigilant Ace 18 air combat exercise, an annual US-South Korea drill the US Air Force says is created to boost the "combat effectiveness" of the alliance.

He said that the United States had been "jolted" at the strengthening of North Korea's nuclear force and could attempt to commit "robber-like" provocative acts.

Kim first made the threat in September in response to Trump's United Nations speech threatening to destroy the North and mocking him as "Little Rocket Man".

"However, the quake could have been caused by geological changes created from the recent nuclear explosion", said an agency official who asked not to be named.

But analysts remain unconvinced that the North has mastered the technology required to launch and direct a missile, and ensure it survives the hard re-entry into the Earth's atmosphere.

  • Adam Floyd