North Korea tests ballistic missile ahead of Trump's meeting with Jinping

Posted April 09, 2017

The U.S. Pacific Command, based in Hawaii, said the missile flew for nine minutes. North Korea fired a ballistic missile into its e.

US-South Korean announcement follows threats by the North of retaliation against expansion of global sanctions. "There's really no need for Tillerson to react every time when North Korea does something".

A man watches a TV news program showing a file footage of North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, at Seoul Train Station in Seoul, South Korea, Wednesday, April 5, 2017.

North Korea failed in an attempt to launch a ballistic missile two weeks ago from its east coast.

(AP Photo/Lee Jin-man, File).

Though the White House has previously made similar statements, the call came hours before Trump hosts Chinese President Xi Jinping for a two-day summit at his Mar-a-Lago estate in Florida.

A North Korean missile launch on Tuesday was of a liquid-fuelled Scud missile which only travelled a fraction of it's range, United States officials said. But unlike the KN-15, which uses solid fuel, the missile fired Wednesday used liquid fuel and was sacked from a fixed location, rather than a mobile launcher, the official said.

A Seoul ministry official told Xinhua that the ballistic missile was sacked at about 6:42 a.m. local time from Sinpo in North Hamgyeong province, in the northeastern part of the country.

An expert on the North's political strategy warned against reading too much political significance into the timing of the tests ahead of the U.S-China summit. Many weapons experts say the North could have a functioning nuclear-tipped missile capable of reaching the continental USA within a few years.

Pyongyang is on a quest to develop a long-range missile capable of hitting the U.S. mainland with a nuclear warhead, and has so far staged five nuclear tests, two of them previous year.

North Korea rarely misses an opportunity to conduct banned missile tests to coincide with high-profile world events at which the impoverished yet nuclear-armed country is likely to be discussed.

A press release "is not going to prompt them to fire off more missiles", he said.

"I've joked before that they don't mind being hated but they definitely hate to be ignored", Cossa said. North Korea carried out two nuclear tests a year ago.

In his brief, nationally televised remarks, Abe said Trump had told him that all options were on the table regarding how to handle North Korea.

In an interview this week with the Financial Times, Trump issued China an ultimatum if it fails to pressure North Korea to scrap its nuclear program, saying Washington is ready to take action unilaterally. "China wants to make efforts with all sides involved, to make denuclearization a reality, and ensure peace in the region".

Pyongyang tested a new type of medium to long-range ballistic missile in February, which it later said was an upgraded, extended-range version of its submarine-launched ballistic missile (SLBM). The effect of further sanctions is questionable as North Korea puts the survival of its ruling elite before the wellbeing of its struggling populace and already is one of the most heavily penalized places on earth.

The Joint Chiefs of Staff in Seoul confirmed that the missile was launched from Sinpo, south Hamgyong province in eastern North Korea.