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North Korea Renews Accusation Of CIA Assassination Plot

The U.S. THAAD missile defense battery recently installed in South Korea is now capable of intercepting North Korean missiles, a Pentagon spokesman said Monday, amid heightened tensions in the wake of Pyongyang's latest missile test.

North Korea, increasingly isolated over its repeated weapons tests in violation of United Nations resolutions, on Monday renewed its accusation of a USA and South Korean intelligence plot to assassinate leader Kim Jong Un.

North Korea has been developing a long-range missile capable of striking the mainland United States mounted with a nuclear warhead.

"It appears to have not only demonstrated an intermediaterange ballistic missile that might enable them to reliably strike the United States base at Guam, but more importantly, may represent a substantial advance to developing an intercontinental ballistic missile".

The report on the missile's flight was largely consistent with South Korean and Japanese assessments on Sunday that it flew 700 km (435 miles) and reached an altitude of more than 2,000 km (1,243 miles), which is further and higher than an intermediate-range missile tested in February from the same region, northwest of Pyongyang.

Trump also has sought to enlist Chinese President Xi Jinping's help in preventing North Korea from escalating development of its weapons program.

In Brussels, NATO spokeswoman Oana Lungescu called Pyongyang's move "a new flagrant breach of a series of United Nations Security Council Resolutions", constituting "a threat to global peace and security".

"There's a lot of sanctions left that we can start to do, whether it's with oil, whether it's with energy, whether it's with their maritime ships, exports", US Ambassador Nikki Haley told ABC television's "This Week".

New sanctions were expected to be discussed at a closed council meeting Tuesday, the diplomats said, speaking on condition of anonymity because talks have been private.

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The state-run news organization also said that, after the launch, Jong Un "hugged officials in the field of rocket research, saying that they worked hard to achieve a great thing".

The White House took note of the missile landing close to Russia's Pacific coast and said that North Korea has been "a flagrant menace for far too long". Moon has advocated dialogue with North Korea to denuclearize. Russian President Vladimir Putin said the missile test was "dangerous" but added that Pyongyang was being intimidated.

Even before North Korea gave its account of what happened, the launch caught the eye of experts.

North Korea is not thought to be able yet to make a nuclear warhead small enough to mount on a long-range missile, though some outside analysts think it can arm shorter-range missiles with warheads.

"This is the longest-range missile North Korea has ever tested", Jeffrey Lewis of the Middlebury Institute of International Studies told AFP.

Council diplomats say the US and China, the North's closest ally, have been working on a new sanctions resolution. It said that with this missile, "the USA mainland and Pacific operation region are in the [Democratic People's Republic of Korea's] sighting range for strike".

"The members of the Security Council vowed to fully implement all measures imposed on (North Korea) by the Security Council and strongly urge all other member states to do so in an expeditious and serious manner", the statement said on Monday.

Moon kept open the possibility of an inter-Korea summit, initially proposed last Wednesday in his inaugural speech, but said it can only be held when Pyongyang "changes its behavior".

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