North Korea Fires Ballistic Missile

North Korea Fires Ballistic Missile

North Korea Fires Ballistic Missile

This sets up the possibility that North Korea hopes to use the test to show it can hit US targets near and far and emphasize its defiance of USA -led pressure on its missile and nuclear programs, which has included vague threats from President Donald Trump and the arrival in Korean waters of powerful US military hardware.

The missile was believed to be a Scud-class ballistic missile and flew about 450 km (280 miles), South Korean officials said.

North Korea has increased its test-firing of ballistic missiles over recent months as it seeks to build nuclear-tipped missiles that can reach the USA mainland. It landed about 230 miles off the Japanese coast, Japanese Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga said.

Pacific Command said late Sunday it detected the launch of a short-range North Korean ballistic missile from a site near Wonsan Airfield.

Saying the UN Security Council has "clear rules" about the use of missiles, China urged North Korea not to violate them.

Japanese Prime Minster Shinzo Abe "the issue of North Korea is a top priority for the worldwide community". "In order to deter North Korea, we will take concrete action with the United States", said the Japanese PM.

North Korea's state-controlled media had no immediate comment.

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North Korea has fired a short-range ballistic missile, the third apparently successful test in as many weeks.

The South condemned the missile test as a "grave threat" and a challenge to Moon, who advocates dialogue with the North in a break from his conservative predecessors.

The North has repeatedly defied a United Nations resolution banning all nuclear and missile activity, and has ramped up its tests in recent months.

A woman watches a TV screen showing a file footage of North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, at Seoul Train Station in Seoul, South Korea, Monday, May 29, 2017.

"The situation on the Korean peninsula is complex and sensitive", China's foreign ministry said in a statement. President Donald Trump has made making stability in the Korean Peninsula as a top priority in his foreign policy. Despite global sanctions, North Korea's capabilities continue to grow.

Cheong Wa Dae convened a National Security Council meeting earlier in the day to discuss the North's launch. "The North [Korea] should stop all provocations immediately and move toward the denuclearization path as quickly as possible", the ministry said in a statement, as quoted by the Yonhap news agency.

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