The United Nations Security Council, America, Russia and North Korea’s neighbour South Korea have denounced the ballistic missile test carried out in the early hours of Sunday.
The North Korean regime’s state media has boasted about the success of the test and claimed the “newly developed ballistic rocket” was capable of carrying a nuclear warhead.
South Korea’s new liberal president Moon Jae-in has now warned there is a “high possibility of conflict” with the North after advances in its nuclear capabilities.
As North Korea continues to issue chilling threats, here are live updates and the latest news on the tensions between Kim Jong-un and Donald Trump.
Wednesday May 17
1.15pm BST: South Korea have opened up today to the possibility of renewing dialog with North Korea.
“Our most basic stance is that communication lines between South and North Korea should open,” Lee Duk-haeng, a spokesman for the South’s Unification Ministry, told reporters.
“The Unification Ministry has considered options on this internally but nothing has been decided yet.”
The news comes after the recent election of South Korea’s first ever liberal president, Moon Jae-in, who campaigned for a moderate approach to the North Korean problem.
9.30am BST: South Korea’s new President Moon Jae-in has warned that there is a “high possibility” of conflict with North Korea.
6.30am BST: North Korea’s actions are a “recipe for disaster” as Kim Jong-un continues to develop his nuclear capabilities, a top US military official in the Pacific has claimed.
Admiral Harry Harris Jr said Kim Jong-un does not care about his failed missile tests as he pushes to create a nuclear arsenal no matter the cost.
He added, North Korea is “closer to being able to deliver a nuclear-equipped missile anywhere in the world”.
6am BST: North Korea has vowed to continue secret underground nuclear explosions and ballistic missile tests as the sabre rattling hermit kingdom bolsters its military capability.
Kim Jong-un’s state media told his citizens testing would continue despite threats and sanctions from three of the world’s greatest superpowers – the US, China and Russia.
5.17am BST: US ambassador to the UN Nikki Haley called on the international community to support the Trump administration’s efforts in the region.
She said: ”You either support North Korea or you support us, because that’s what it comes down to.
“The United States is not past looking at third-country entities who are helping North Korea, and putting sanctions on them, because if you are supporting North Korea, you are against the rest of the international community.”
3:15am BST: The Trump administration is set to tackle Kim Jong-un’s warmongering with tough new measures to isolate North Korea from the rest of the world, it has been revealed.
The US aims to hold Pyongyang responsible for their sabre-rattling by bringing the international community together to use diplomatic, security and economic measures capable cutting North Korea off “from the rest of the world”.
1am BST: A North Korean nuclear weapons test is imminent and the “test site” is ready, an expert who has visited their production site has warned.
Siegfried Hecker, an expert on North Korea’s military programme, believes it is vital for Donald Trump and the South Korean president Moon Jae-in to agree on a united policy to help tackle Kim Jong-un’s aggression.
NORTH KOREAN NUCLEAR TESTS SITES MAPPED
Tuesday May 16
10pm BST: The United States has insisted it can persuade China to impose new UN sanctions on North Korea.
Donald Trump’s nation has said it believed it could “call out” countries supporting Pyongyang.
Speaking to reporters ahead of a closed-door UN Security Council meeting on the missile launch, U. Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley also made clear that Washington would only talk to North Korea once it halted its nuclear programme.
7.55pm BST: David Schmerler, a research associate at the James Martin Center for Nonproliferation Studies, told CNN that North Korea’s latest missile test was the first of its kind.
“This is the first successful test (of this type of missile) that we know of,” Mr Schmerler said of the Sunday test.
“One of the big takeaways is the missile’s performance, which might give credit to their own design capability.
The missile tested in the early hours of Sunday was a Hwasong-12 type rocket.
He added: “It outperformed previous, copied missile designs, which means that their ballistic missile program is moving at an accelerating rate.”
Noon BST: WannaCry ransomware cyber attack ‘may have a North Korea link’, according to one theory.
Security experts are cautiously linking the Lazarus Group, which works on behalf of the North Koreans, to the global cyber attack that affected the NHS.
Symantec and Kaspersky Lab have said that some code in an earlier version of the WannaCry software had also appeared in programmes used by the Lazarus Group.
Simon Choi, a senior researcher with Hauri Labs, said their findings were the same, adding: “It is similar to North Korea’s backdoor malicious codes.”
NORTH KOREA VS USA: HOW MANY NUKES DO THEY HAVE?
11am BST: North Korea’s recent missile test-launch was a legitimate act of self-defence under international law and US criticism of it a “wanton violation of the sovereignty and dignity of the DPRK, a North Korean diplomat told the UN Conference on Disarmament.
“The DPRK will bolster its self-defence capabilities as long as the United States continues its hostile policies towards the DPRK and imposes nuclear threats and makes blackmail,” North Korean diplomat Ju Yong Choi said.
9am BST: North Korea’s missile programme is progressing faster than expected, South Korea’s defence minister has said.
Han Min-koo told the South Korean parliament that North Korea’s test launch on Sunday was “successful in flight”.
“It is considered an IRBM (intermediate range ballistic missile) of enhanced calibre compared to Musudan missiles that have continually failed,” he said.
NORTH KOREA FACTS AND HISTORY
8am BST: The US sees China’s leverage as key to resolving the North Korean nuclear issue, US Disarmament Ambassador Robert Wood told the press.
“I’m not going to talk about various policy options that we may or may not consider, but I will say this: we are certainly engaged right now in looking at a number of measures – political, economic, security – to deal with these provocative acts by the DPRK, and dangerous acts in many cases,” he said.
“Ninety per cent of the DPRK’s trade is with China, so clearly there is a lot more leverage that China has, and we would like China to use.”
7am BST: The UN Security Council has demanded an end to North Korea’s missile tests and said it is ready to impose more sanctions on the reclusive nation.
The 15-member council said it was of vital importance that North Korea show “sincere commitment to denuclearization through concrete action and stressed the importance of working to reduce tensions”.
“To that end, the Security Council demanded the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea conduct no further nuclear and ballistic missile tests,” the council statement said, adding that it was ready to impose further sanctions on the country.
IS RUSSIA ON NORTH KOREA’S SIDE?