Published: Wed, April 12, 2017
Economy | By Melissa Porter

United Nations strongly condemns North Korea's latest missile launch

The North's latest missile launch also came during annual military drills between the United States and South Korea.

Trump "made clear that the United States will continue to strengthen its ability to deter and defend itself and its allies with the full range of its military capabilities", the White House later said in a statement.

Abe also told reporters at his official residence that he was watching to see how China would respond to Pyongyang after President Xi Jinping meets with Trump at the United States leader's Mar-a-Lago resort in Florida. China has always been North Korea's closest diplomatic ally and trading partner, but the relationship has become strained over Pyongyang's refusal to halt nuclear and missile testing.

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.

The pair spoke by phone a day after Pyongyang fired a ballistic missile into the Sea of Japan, in what analysts said was a warning ahead of a US-China summit at which North Korea's accelerating atomic weapons program is set to top the agenda.

What separates these threats from North Korea's usual chest-beating is the recent unveiling of images from watchdog site 38 North indicating increased excavation activity at the Punggye-ri nuclear test site, which could mean a sixth nuclear test is forthcoming.

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 programmes on its own if need be.

South Korean officials said McMaster discussed the North's latest missile launch and the Trump-Xi summit in a call with his counterpart in Seoul, Kim Kwan-jin. North Korea's state media has also said the world will soon witness what it calls "eventful successes" the country achieves in the space development.

"Pyongyang's missile program has progressed over the last few decades from tactical rockets in the 1970s, to short, medium-range ballistic missiles in the 1980s and 1990s".

". Both agreed to push forward the deployment of THAAD by USA forces in Korea", it said.

The South Korean military said the missile was sacked from land near the east coast city of Sinpo and flew only about 60 kilometers (40 miles).

North Korea conducted its fourth missile test this year Wednesday morning by launching a projectile from the eastern port city of Sinpo in South Hamgyong Province at around 6:42 a.m., which peaked at an altitude of 189 kilometers (117 miles) and flew 60 kilometers for nine minutes before landing in the East Sea, according to the JCS.

A North Korean missile test ended in failure Wednesday when the rocket spun out of control and plunged into the ocean in a fiery crash, a senior USA defense official said.

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