North Korea warns United States of a pre-emptive strike

The attempted launch occurred a day after the regime of Kim Jong Un showed off a bevy of new missiles and launchers at a large-scale military parade on the Day of the Sun, North Korea's most important holiday.

Its mission is to collect samples from the atmosphere in order to detect and identity a nuclear explosion.

Meanwhile China has thrown its own spanner into the works by claiming that the USA supplied THAAD missile defense system that South Korea hopes to test soon interferes with its own radars.

The U.N. Security Council has issued a strongly worded condemnation of the latest North Korean missile launch after the US agreed to Russia's request to include a call for "dialogue" with Pyongyang in the text.

"It is a situation where a lot of (military) exercise equipment is amassed in North Korea and also a lot of strategic assets are situated on the Korean peninsula because of the South Korea-US military drills", Lee told a briefing.

It said that it had requested Security Council discussions on US-South Korean military exercises "several times".

The government will consider when Japanese people in South Korea would begin to evacuate from northern areas of South Korea while examining information from the United States and other parties.

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South Korean presidential candidates clashed on Wednesday night in a debate over the planned deployment in South Korea of a US-supplied Terminal High Altitude Area Defence (THAAD) anti-missile system, which has angered China.

Visiting the Korean Peninsula gave more clarity to the situation, said Maloney.

Diplomats said China had agreed to the statement.

In an escalating war of words with the U.S., North Korea warned Thursday of a "super-mighty preemptive strike" that would reduce American military forces in South Korea and the U.S. mainland "to ashes", according to The Rodong Sinmun, official newspaper of North Korea's Workers' Party.

The statement issued later Thursday by the council includes the language Russian Federation wanted.

The United States said it had cut the words because they "would overly narrow the means by which the global community could arrive at a peaceful and comprehensive solution to the North Korean nuclear problem", the United States told council members, according to diplomats. However, the UN Security Council and the Secretariat have failed to respond to their demand to date.

The warning from the North Koreans may be seen as an off- shoot of President Trump's statement last week about sending an "armada" towards the nation as a warning. It was now heading for the Western Pacific as ordered, it said.