North Korea launched a missile test on Sunday 14th May which they claim is capable of carrying a large nuclear warhead.
The missile, which landed in the sea west of Japan, was launched at a steep angle, reaching an altitude of 2,000km, and travelling about 700km.
North Korea said the missile has the abilities of a ‘newly developed ballistic rocket’.
Whilst South Korean military have not yet been able to verify the North’s claims, they say the missiles appeared to be able to leave and re-enter the atmosphere, a crucial characteristic of intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBMs), the Yonhap news agency reported.
The US and Japan have called for an emergency meeting of the UN Security Council on Tuesday as North Korea’s repeated missile tests this year have generated international alarm.
North Korea, in defiance of UN sanctions, has already conducted five nuclear tests as part of their developments in nuclear weapons and missiles capable of delivering those weapons to their target.
Their ability to make such weapons small enough to be mounted on a rocket is still unclear and they have not yet tested a long-range ICBM capable of reaching the US.
Analysts believe the missile tested on Sunday was capable of travelling 4,000km if it had been fired at a standard trajectory rather than upwards. ICBM’s have a range of approx. 6,000km.