North Korea missile program progressing faster than expected

North Korea’s deputy U.N. envoy said on Friday that the United States needed to roll back its “hostile policy” toward the country before there could be talks between the pair.

The North has staged two atomic tests and dozens of missile tests in its quest to build a missile capable of delivering a nuclear warhead to the U.S. mainland.

“You either support North Korea or you support us”, U.S. ambassador to the UN, Nikki Haley said, suggesting some countries were failing to adhere to UN-imposed sanctions.

Such moves underscore a willingness on the part of China’s Communist Party leaders to fan the flames of anti-South Korea sentiment, said Korea expert Sung-Yoon Lee of Tufts University in MA.

In response, the USA has beefed up their military drills in the Korea peninsula, with marines teaming up with their South Korean allies to take out North Korean nuclear bases.

“Kim Jong Un is not afraid to fail in public and every test he makes is a success because it takes North Korea one step closer to being able to deliver a nuclear-equipped missile anywhere in the world”.

“With the missile impacting so close to Russian soil, in fact – closer to Russia than to Japan – the President can not imagine that Russia is pleased”, the statement said.

Weighing on the latest missile test while in Beijing on Sunday, Russian President Vladimir Putin urged all parties, including those whom he said are “intimidating” North Korea, to drop their alarmist rhetoric and stop saber-rattling, and instead focus on a diplomatic solution to the crisis.

“The U.S. should mind that the DPRK nuclear striking capability will be strengthened and developed at a rapidly high speed as long as the U.S. insists (on) its anti-DPRK policy, nasty nuclear threats and blackmails, sanction and pressure”, Kim said.

Han said the Terminal High Altitude Area Defense anti-missile system detected the missile, marking the first time it had been put to use since its deployment.

Haley previously indicated that new sanctions could target oil, a critical import for North Korea mainly from China, and she said Tuesday the USA also wants sanctions on organizations and businesses in countries that are helping Pyongyang.

China has strongly opposed THAAD, saying it can spy into its territory, and South Korean companies have been hit in China by a nationalist backlash over the deployment. Third, dialogue with North Korea is possible when the circumstances are right.

The council demanded North Korea halt its tests and said it was ready to impose further sanctions.

Numerous launches were considered failures, but experts said the one fired Sunday was a clear success and showed the country was making major advances.

“We hope the new government will correct the problems that we have encountered and take effective measures and positions as soon as possible to remove the obstacles that have been placed on the road to good relations between our two countries”, Wang said in comments in front of reporters.