North Korea links nuclear advances to hostile U.S. policy

South Korean defense minister Han Min-koo told parliament Sunday's test launch was "successful in flight". The Hwasong-12 ballistic rocket successfully reached an altitude of 2,111.5 km (1,312 miles) and traveled a distance of 489 miles before breaching Japan's Air Defense Identification Zone and splashing down in the Sea of Japan. It landed in the sea near Russian Federation.

On Tuesday, South Korea's new government and the US administration committed to "bold and practical" ways to denuclearize North Korea.

Guiding a long-range missile to a target on return to Earth is a key technological hurdle that North Korea must overcome in trying to flawless a missile that could threaten the United States. "Right now, it sure looks successful", said one of the U.S. defense officials.

In a separate statement, a Central Intelligence Agency analyst said this week Iran and North Korea are working together to improve their respective missile programs, according to CNBC.

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Last week, Pompeo had announced the creation of a Korea Mission Center at the CIA in order to improve intelligence on North Korea's weapons program, a move that may have angered the Kim regime.

Tensions heightened on the divided peninsula as North Korea on Sunday fired a new intermediate-range ballistic missile which it claims can carry a heavy nuclear warhead.

With Moon expected to take a more conciliatory approach toward Pyongyang than earlier administrations, the Choson Sinbo said the president should recognize the North as "a partner for peace and prosperity" and formulate "realistic" ways for the two Koreas to cooperate with each other. Under U.N. sanctions, states are banned from supplying North Korea with sodium cyanide and Pyongyang has to abandon all chemical and biological weapons and programs. "Let this latest provocation serve as a call for all nations to implement far stronger sanctions against North Korea".

Trump expressed interest in entering talks with the North under the right circumstances, but that he wasn't interested in talks that don't help produce solutions.

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The UN Security Council was swift to condemn the test but North Korea's director of Asian affairs, Pak Jong-hak, insisted Tuesday that Pyongyang would not be deterred.

"The rolling back of the hostile policy toward DPRK is the prerequisite for solving all the problems in the Korean Peninsula", he said.

Earlier this week, North Korean official Kang Sam-hyon said: "The CIA of the US and the intelligence service of South Korea, hotbed of evils in the world, hatched a vicious plot to hurt the supreme leadership of the DPRK". As everybody knows, the Americans have gestured [toward] dialogue. "But what is important is not words, but actions".

North Korea has attempted at least 10 missile launches on seven occasions since January.

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