North Korea launches another missile amid rising U.S. concerns

North Korea fired a ballistic missile on Wednesday from its east coast into the sea off the Peninsula, South Korea's military said, ahead of a summit between US and Chinese leaders who are set to discuss Pyongyang's arms program. There was a low rumble of discontent any time a South Korean player touched the ball.

The single ballistic missile launched at around 6:42 a.m. Seoul time (5:42 p.m. Tuesday ET) from the area of the port city of Sinpo traveled about 60 kilometers, or just over 37 miles, before crashing into the sea, a South Korean military officer said.

US Secretary of State, Rex Tillerson, released a brief response to the launch.

"North Korea launched yet another intermediate range ballistic missile." he said. "We have no further comment", the statement said.

Hyten said he would be providing military options to the president in dealing with the threat from North Korea, but maintained that China's involvement was critical in solving Pyongyang's nuclear challenge.

The ban, which was not communicated to the International Ice Hockey Federation (IIHF) now overseeing the test events in Gangneung, means only South Korean spectators can bear the flag of their national team at Thursday's inter-Korean ice hockey match in Gangneung, South Korea.

The missile landed in the Sea of Japan, the U.S. Pacific Command said in a statement. South Korean intelligence warned in late March that North Korea could potentially detonate a nuclear device to "overshadow" the U.S.

Officials also suggested that it may have been an attempt by the North Koreans to launch a land-based version of a rocket from a submarine, given its proximity to a known North Korean submarine base, The Washington Post reported.




Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and U.S. President Donald Trump pose for a photograph before attending dinner at Mar-a-Lago Club in Palm Beach, Florida, U.S., February 11, 2017.

"Both sides agreed to pursue. plans in order to substantially strengthen the global community's sanctions and pressure on North Korea", South Korea's presidential Blue House said in a statement.

Last August Pyongyang also successfully test-fired a submarine-launched ballistic missile 500 kilometres towards Japan, far exceeding any previous sub-launched tests, in what the North's leader Kim Jong-Un hailed as the "greatest success".

North Korea's liquid fuel-powered ballistic missiles up until now required a garrison, fuel storage tanks and support vehicles to launch, which can be identified with imagery, experts say. That type of missile is capable of traveling around 3,000 kilometers, or around 1,864 miles, making it conceivable that one could hit or come close to Guam.

The upcoming meeting between Trump and the Chinese president may give the opportunity for a more constructive course of action, though as Foreign Policynoted, Trump appears to have an unrealistic view of China's leverage over Kim.

South Korean officials said McMaster spoke with his counterpart in Seoul, Kim Kwan-jin, on Thursday morning to discuss the North's missile launch and the Trump-Xi summit.

A few hours south of Pyongyang the North Korean military faces off against US-led United Nations forces across the Demilitarised Zone, considered one of the most heavily fortified locations on Earth.

Trump has repeatedly said he wants China to do more to exert its economic influence over its unpredictable ally in Pyongyang to restrain its nuclear and missile programmes, but China denies it has any overriding influence on North Korea.

(Copyright © 2015. All Rights Reserved.)
 
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