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TAKE A STAND: North Korea Missile Test

17 May 2017

"If you are supporting North Korea, you are against the rest of the worldwide community", Haley said.

"We are going to send a very strong, unified message to North Korea that the global community wants to support you, but as long as you test and as long as you continue your nuclear program, you are on an island by yourself", Haley said, speaking alongside ambassadors from Japan and South Korea.

"It is considered an IRBM (intermediate range ballistic missile) of enhanced caliber compared to Musudan missiles that have continually failed", he said, referring to a class of missile created to travel up to 3,000 to 4,000 km (1,860 to 2,485 miles). Even paying the ransom can come with a risk, she said.

Both Symantec and Kaspersky said it was too early to tell whether North Korea was involved in the attacks, based on the evidence that was published on Twitter by Google security researcher Neel Mehta.

Admiral Harry Harris, the top US commander in the Asia-Pacific, said continued missile launches by North Korea showed the importance of the alliance between Japan and the United States and called the North's actions unacceptable.

After days of disruptions affecting networks worldwide, a top USA official said the number of computers affected had reached 300,000, but that infection rates had slowed. North Korea's state media also said the missile is capable of carrying a nuclear warhead.

Han Min-koo told South Korea's parliament that Sunday's test had been detected by the controversial U.S. THAAD anti-missile system, which was deployed in South Korea last month, infuriating China. North Korea cut off it in February previous year following Seoul's shutdown of a joint industrial park.

The missile, launched on an unusually high trajectory, flew to an altitude of 2,111.5km, and travelled 787km before landing in the Sea of Japan.

Pyongyang is also suspected of turning 60,000 computers in South Korea into "zombies", or computers that have been compromised by hackers and can then be used for cyberattacks.

North Korea has denied being behind the Sony and banking attacks.

The Security Council, which has imposed six rounds of sanctions on the North, discussed possible further action at Tuesday's meeting.

Tuesday's meeting came a day after the council adopted a press statement condemning the North's missile launch.

"I don't have a good answer to why the North Koreans would target China or Russian Federation", said Gi-Wook Shin, director of the Shorenstein Asia-Pacific Research Center at Stanford University. "What we are saying is for peace on the Korean Peninsula, he has to stop his testing, he has to stop any nuclear program that he has".

In early 2015, the White House announced a new set of economic sanctions to penalize North Korea over its involvement. Rates for the United States, Japan, Germany and Britain range from 18 to 22 percent.

North Korean propaganda must be considered with wariness - Pyongyang has threatened for decades to reduce Seoul to a "sea of fire", for instance - but Monday's claim, if confirmed, would mark another big advance toward the North's goal of fielding a nuclear-tipped missile capable of reaching the USA mainland.

In the past, North Korea's army of hackers has taken aim at more obvious targets.

Top South Korean government officials' smartphones were also hacked in 2016, according to the country's spy agency.