North Korea's latest launch heralds mass production of "cold launch" missiles

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North Korea said Monday it is ready to start mass-producing a new medium-range missile after a weekend test-launch confirmed its combat readiness.

The Security Council is strongly condemning North Korea's "flagrant and provocative defiance" of United Nations sanctions banning ballistic missile tests and again vowing to impose new sanctions.

"Viewing the images of earth being sent real-time from the camera mounted on the ballistic missile, Supreme Leader Kim Jong Un said it feels grand to look at earth from the rocket we launched and the entire world looks so handsome", the KCNA reported.

"The Trump administration would be well advised to lend an ear to the voices of concern that are heard from the US and the global community", North Korea's Minju Joson newspaper said in a commentary Sunday.

North Korea fired a solid-fuel ballistic missile Sunday that can be harder for outsiders to detect before launch and later said the test was hailed as ideal by leader Kim Jong Un.

North Korea may have begun acquiring demilitarized vehicles from China's Hubei Sanjiang Space Wanshan Special Vehicle Co., a wholly owned subsidiary of China Aerospace Science and Industry Corp., according to Nuclear Threat Initiative in Washington, D.C. He told the South Korea's Yonhap news agency that Pyongyang appears to be developing two types of missiles - the solid-fuel Pukguksong-2 missile that can be fired from a mobile launcher and the liquid-fuel Hwasong-12, tested a week earlier, that involves a more complicated launch structure.

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.

Communications were severed by North Korea a year ago, Lee said, after new global sanctions were imposed in response to its fifth nuclear test and Pyongyang shut down a joint industrial zone. The missile is capable of striking targets 500 km away.


DPRK are the initials for the North's official name, the Democratic People's Republic of Korea.

Foreign Ministry spokesman Hua Chunying said at a regular briefing yesterday: "The (UN) Security Council has clear stipulations prohibiting (North Korea) against using ballistic missiles and China opposes this as well".

The US-drafted statement was almost identical to one adopted last week after the launch of an intermediate-range missile that Pyongyang said was capable of carrying a "heavy" nuclear warhead. In addition, the North-Korean government claimed their experts developed a large-range missile, able to reach all the way to America.

He noted the Pukguksong-2's solid fuel is of particular concern.

Solid-fuel missiles have their fuel loaded before being moved into place, allowing them to be launched faster and with more secrecy.

Under UN resolutions, North Korea is barred from developing nuclear and missile technology.

So far nearly all the North's missiles have been liquid-fuelled, which have to be time-consumingly filled with propellant before launch. That makes them easier to spot and easier to destroy.

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