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North Korea holds another missile launch test, U.S. protests

May 14 (UPI) — Following North Korea’s latest ballistic missile test, the U.N. Security Council will hold urgent consultations at the request of the United States, Japan and South Korea, officials said.

The U.N. mission of Uruguay, which holds the council presidency this month, confirmed a closed meeting will be held Tuesday afternoon.

North Korea conducted another in a string of missile tests Saturday amid heightened international tensions over its nuclear program. The state Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) said Monday the Hwasong-12 was “capable of carrying a large-size heavy nuclear warhead.”

KCNA added that “U.S. mainland and Pacific operations” are within range of North Korean missiles.

South Korea’s Yonhap news agency reported the missile was launched from the city of Kusong, north of the capital Pyongyang and traveled an estimated 435 miles (700 kilometers) before falling into the ocean. Other tests that originated from there have had mixed results with the last two attempts leading to detonation of the projectiles shortly after takeoff.

The United States military confirmed the distance the projectile traveled, but did not describe what kind of missile it was.

The missile landed in the Sea of Japan, between the Japanese islands and the Korean Peninsula. The launch drew a sharp rebuke from Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe.

“Despite strong warning from the international community, North Korea launched a ballistic missile again,” Abe said. “This is totally unacceptable and we strongly protest it. North Korea’s missile launch is a serious threat to Japan and clearly violates … the U.N. resolution.”

Nikki Haley, the U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations, said Sunday America and its international partners will continue to “tighten the screws” on North Korea and leader Kim Jong Un.

Haley also said on ABC’s “This Week” that Kim is “in a state of paranoia.”

“He’s incredibly concerned about anything and everything around him,” Haley said. “What we’re going to do is continue to tighten the screws. He feels it.”

North Korea’s last missile launch happened April 29 and was met with stern warnings from U.S. President Donald Trump, who has not ruled out unilateral military action if the communist dictatorship does not stop trying to develop nuclear weapons and a missile system advanced enough to threaten U.S. allies in the region.

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