N. Korea fires ballistic missile ahead of Trump-Xi meeting

Reuters
Reuters
Author

08 April, 2017

According to the U.S. Army, North Korea launched a KN-15 ballistic missile that flew about 60 kilometers before it landed in the Sea of Japan.

"Initial assessments indicate the type of missile was a KN-15 medium range ballistic missile", it said.

The Japanese government estimated the projectile did not land within its exclusive economic zone, Japan's Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga told reporters in a briefing Wednesday morning.

A senior US White House official said Trump wanted to work with China and described the discussions over North Korea as a test for the US-Chinese relationship.

U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson is coming to the United Nations for the first time later this month to chair a ministerial meeting of the Security Council on reining in North Korea's nuclear program, a top priority of the Trump administration.

Seoul and Washington are now analysing both the missile type and the possible range of the missile launched by Pyongyang, the Yonhap news agency reported, adding that it was most likely a KN-15 medium range ballistic missile.

North Korea has conducted five nuclear tests - including two previous year - but experts said the country still hasn't developed nuclear warheads that can be mounted onto missiles.

On Sunday, Trump held out the possibility of using trade as a lever to secure Chinese cooperation, while suggesting Washington might deal with Pyongyang's nuclear and missile programs on its own if need be.

More news: Hillary Clinton's Nephew Just Signed a Contract to be a Male Model

H.R. 479, the North Korea State Sponsor of Terrorism Designation Act, requires the State Department to determine once and for all whether North Korea is a state sponsor of terrorism.

Earlier, North Korea had warned the global community that it will retaliate if they put sanctions over its latest round of weapons tests.

"No never has the organizer requested to ban spectators from entering with DPR Korea flags, nor would the IIHF ever agree to such a ban", said Adam Steiss, a spokesperson for the Switzerland-based organization, told NK News on Thursday.

The hardened U.S. stance followed recent North Korean missile launches that Pyongyang described as practice for an attack on U.S. bases in Japan.

The North's latest missile launch also came during annual military drills between the United States and South Korea. "While we have been trying for 20 years to find a diplomatic solution to the North Korean nuclear issue through the six-party talks, North Korea's nuclear technology development has neared completion", he says.

The new missile could cover all of North Korea, even when fired from the southern part of the country, it said.

A nuclear-capable SLBM system would take the North's threat to a new level, allowing deployment far beyond the Korean peninsula and a "second-strike" capability in the event of an attack on its army bases.

The North is believed to be developing an intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) that could hit the United States and its leader, Kim Jong Un, has vowed to test-launch one at any time.


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