(CNSNews.com) – The United States sees no point in holding an emergency U.N. Security Council meeting Monday on North Korea’s second long-range missile test in 24 days “if it produces nothing of consequence,” U.S. Ambassador to the U.N. Nikki Haley said Sunday, after tweeting that the U.S. is “done talking” about the issue.
“North Korea is already subject to numerous Security Council resolutions that they violate with impunity and that are not complied with by all U.N. member states,” she said in a statement, following the test-firing Friday of what appears to have been an intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM).
Another resolution that does not significantly increase pressure on the Kim Jong-un regime would be “of no value,” Haley continued.
“In fact, it is worse than nothing, because it sends the message to the North Korean dictator that the international community is unwilling to seriously challenge him.”
“China must decide whether it is finally willing to take this vital step,” Haley said. “The time for talk is over. The danger the North Korean regime poses to international peace is now clear to all.”
North Korea’s KCNA news agency reported that the missile, identified as a Hwasong-14, had reached an apogee of 3,724 kilometers (about 2,313 miles) and flown a distance of 998 kms (620 miles) in 47 minutes and 12 seconds, before splashing down as planned in the ocean.
It also claimed that the test had reaffirmed the missile’s re-entry capabilities. A ballistic missile re-entry vehicle needs to be able to withstand the extreme heat encountered when it re-enters the Earth’s atmosphere. Pyongyang is known to have been testing heat shields for that purpose.
A previous, first ever-test of the same projectile on July 4 lasted 39 minutes, with the missile achieving an apogee of 2,802 kilometers (about 1,740 miles) and flying a distance of 933 kilometers (580 miles).
Friday’s missile landed in the sea west of Japan’s Hokkaido prefecture.
Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe spoke to President Trump by phone, and said afterwards early Monday that China and Russia in particular “must understand how serious the situation is and step up the pressure” on Pyongyang.
“Together with President Trump we came to a full agreement on the need for additional measures,” Abe said. China is North Korea’s closest ally and Russia has also been reluctant to act against it at the U.N.
Although U.S. treaty allies Japan and South Korea are the nations most immediately threatened by Kim’s missiles, some proliferation experts believe the KN-14 capable in theory of reaching the United States.
(In Friday’s test the missile was fired in a steep upward trajectory, describing a high arc before splashing down almost 600 miles from the mobile launchpad. Experts say that with a flatter angle and more typical trajectory, the missile could reach much of the continental U.S.)
In a much-cited release, Union of Concerned Scientists co-director David Wright said based on current information the missile appeared capable of reaching the U.S. West Coast and major U.S. cities including Denver and Chicago, and possibly even Boston and New York. He did caution however that that assessment did not take into account the mass of the payload used in the test, compared to the mass of an actual warhead.
“The conservative range estimate of this North Korean Hwasong-14 mobile ICBM capability is around 9,500 km [5,900 miles] when put in an operational and energy efficient trajectory, proving most of the United States’ major cities are within range,” said the Missile Defense Advocacy Alliance in the U.S.
For his part, Kim Jong-un was quoted by KCNA as claiming that the latest launch “proved that the whole U.S. mainland is in the firing range.”
The Pentagon assessed that the projectile fired on Friday was an ICBM, a category of rocket that is capable of carrying a warhead at least 5,500 kms (3,400 miles).
The Russian defense ministry, however, is challenging that evaluation, saying it believed the missile was a medium-range one.
Moscow took the same position after the July 4 launch, and days later blocked a U.N. Security Council statement condemning the incident and calling for a stronger international response.
On Sunday, two U.S. Air Force B1-B Lancer supersonic bombers flew from Guam to the Korean peninsula, where they were joined by South Korean F-15 fighters and made a low pass over an airbase south of Seoul. The bombers also passed through Japanese airspace where they were joined by Japanese F-2 fighter jets.
U.S. Pacific Command described the 10-hour mission as “part of the continuing demonstration of ironclad U.S. commitment to our allies” in the face of North Korean provocations.
Pacific Air Forces commander Gen. Terrence J. O’Shaughnessy said while diplomacy remains the lead response to the North Korean threat “we have a responsibility to our allies and our nation to showcase our unwavering commitment while planning for the worst-case scenario.”
“If called upon, we are ready to respond with rapid, lethal, and overwhelming force at a time and place of our choosing.”