North Korea on Sunday launched what it said was a new type of "medium long-range" ballistic rocket that can carry a heavy nuclear warhead.
The communist dictatorship's official Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) said the Hwasong-12, launched early Sunday Korea time, was "capable of carrying a large-size heavy nuclear warhead".
But according to US officials, missile launches like this one are a deal-breaker for any hypothetical dialogue.
Tokyo clocked the missile as traveling about 800 kilometers (500 miles) and reaching a height of 2,000 kilometers (1,240 miles) during its half-hour flight. It flew 787 km, it added. North Korea said May 15, 2017 it had successfully tested a new type of rocket in its latest missile launch, as analysts said it showed an unprecedented range that brought USA bases in the Pacific within reach.
Schilling said the latest test means North might be just a year away from developing an intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM).
If North Korea's claim is confirmed, the move marks a technical advance in its development of an ICBM.
Kim Jong-un was present at the launch and was photographed celebrating and laughing with officials.
Spokesman Moon Sang Gyun said it's still unlikely that North Korea has re-entry technology, which would return a warhead safely back into the atmosphere.
If it had been fired at a normal angle, analysts say, it could have flown much farther - estimates vary between 4,000 and 7,000 kilometers (2,500 and 4,350 miles), the upper number putting Alaska and possibly Hawaii within striking distance.
Japan's Foreign Minister Fumio Kishida said he and his South Korean counterpart agreed that "dialogue for dialogue's sake with North Korea is meaningless".
Footage aired by the state TV station showed that it was launched on what appeared to be a makeshift firing stand after being moved on a transport erector launcher (TEL), a move seen as aiming at avoiding damage due to possible failure.
North Korea's state media on Sunday released the first photo of the launch saying it was a "new ground-to-ground medium long-range strategic ballistic rocket", dubbed Hwasong-12. The missile looks like the one unveiled at a military parade in April.
"As South Korea's diplomatic situation matures, North Korea should also show a more mature attitude, not a childish one, and contribute to (establishing a better) diplomatic relationship", said Jin Hyo-seon, 33, a painter.
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The Security Council has adopted six increasingly tougher sanctions resolutions against North Korea.
Global condemnation came quickly, with South Korea's newly-elected President Moon Jae-in calling the launch a "reckless provocation".
People watch a TV news program showing a file image of a missile launch conducted by North Korea, at the Seoul Railway Station in Seoul, South Korea, Sunday, May 14, 2017.
"The president said we are leaving open the possibility of dialogue with North Korea, but we should sternly deal with a provocation to prevent North Korea from miscalculating".
Outside militaries and experts will closely analyze what the North fired.
North Korea's latest ballistic missile test may be almost as big a deal as its propaganda machine claims.
Choe Son-hui, a senior North Korean diplomat, said Saturday that Pyongyang would be willing to hold talks with Washington "under the right conditions".
While North Korea has threatened the U.S. with a pre-emptive strike in case of any military action, the United States has pressured the North economically and diplomatically.
U.S. President Donald Trump warned in an interview with Reuters this month that a "major, major conflict" with North Korea was possible.
Russian President Vladimir Putin said Monday that the overthrow of regimes and the invasion of other countries provoke an arms race.
Yonhap news agency reported the projectile launched appeared to be a ballistic missile.
Calling the DPRK "a nuclear power with a powerful potential of military deterrence", Kim Jong-un stressed that Pyongyang was ready to respond should the United States dare to carry out a military provocation against the country.