G7 declares North Korea is top priority

North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un has overseen a test of a new anti-aircraft weapon system, state media said on Sunday, amid mounting tensions in the region following a series of missile tests by Pyongyang.

North Korean leader Kim Jong-un.

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"If left on its current trajectory, the [North Korea] regime will ultimately succeed in fielding a nuclear-armed missile capable of threatening the United States homeland", Stewart told a Senate committee. North Korea has accused the US of escalating tensions with its actions and refers to its missile launches as measures to safeguard its country.

On May 14, the test missile by Pyongyang reportedly reached an altitude of more than 2,100 kilometers (1,300 miles).

After the test, Kim said the weapon system's ability to detect and track targets had "remarkably" improved and its accuracy also increased, according to the official Korean Central News Agency.

On Tuesday, Lt. Gen. Vincent Stewart, the head of the U.S. Defense Intelligence Agency, said it is "inevitable" North Korea will eventually have the capacity to strike the United States with nuclear missile.

A White House official said after the launch that US President Trump was made aware of the latest actions of Pyongyang. Several hundred Americans have reportedly visited North Korea annually in recent years, in addition to relief workers and religious groups.

Japanese chief cabinet secretary Yoshihide Suga said what appeared to be a North Korean ballistic missile fell within Japan's exclusive maritime economic zone.

In Washington, a National Security Council spokesman said Trump had been briefed on the launch.

Besides its regular ballistic missile test-launches, the North carried out two nuclear tests a year ago - in January and September.

"We continue to monitor North Korea's actions closely", the Pacific Command said in a statement, adding that it was working on a more detailed assessment of the launch from near the country's Wonsan Airfield.

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