NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — The United Nations Security Council held an emergency session Wednesday following North Korea’s launching of a powerful missile.
The United States and South Korea have confirmed that the regime launched an intercontinental ballistic missile, the kind capable of reaching the U.S.
“Make no mistake, North Korea’s launch of the ICBM is a clear and sharp military escalation,” U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley said Wednesday.
China and Russia say they oppose any new sanctions against North Korea, and they’re calling for the United States and South Korea to resist answering with force
The missile flew for nearly 40 minutes and reached an altitude of about 1,500 miles before splashing into the Sea of Japan about 600 miles from the launch site.
With a projected range of more than 4,000 miles, it would be capable of hitting all of Alaska, but not the continental United States or Hawaii.
The test caught the international community off guard, because dictator Kim Jong Un kept the missile hidden from spy satellites until it was placed on the launch pad.
“I’m surprised at how fast they’ve been able to pull out new missile designs, launch them, and despite having some failures, do relatively well,” said nuclear weapons expert David Wright.
In response, the U.S Army and the South Korean military fired missiles into the sea, warning the North they will not be passive as it develops a nuclear weapon.
“The United States is prepared to use a full range of capabilities to defend ourselves and our allies,” Haley said at Wednesday’s special session.
But China and Russia are against any real airstrikes or even new sanctions.
“There’s no question we’ve crossed a threshold here,” said former Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta.
Meanwhile, President Donald Trump was in Europe Tuesday for meetings with world leaders and a G20 Summit focused on the global economy.
But as CBS2’s Dick Brennan reports, the growing threat from North Korea is front and center.
On Twitter Wednesday morning, Trump said trade between China and North Korea “grew almost 40% in the first quarter.”
“So much for China working with us – but we had to give it a try!” he said.
Secretary of State Rex Tillerson issued a statement, saying; “Global action is required to stop a global threat.”
“The U.S. will never accept a nuclear-armed North Korea,” Tillerson continued.
The president has pushed China to intervene with economic pressure on North Korea to no avail.
The Pentagon described North Korea’s latest launch as “destabilizing,” but added the U.S. military is capable of defending the country from this threat.
Top researchers say North Korea is still a few years away from having a reliable nuclear weapon that’s capable of reaching our shores.