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Published: Tue, May 02, 2017
Economy | By Melissa Porter

France calls for firm reaction after North Korea's missile test

France calls for firm reaction after North Korea's missile test

The latest launch, which South Korea said was a failure, came just hours after US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson warned the UN Security Council of "catastrophic consequences" if the worldwide community - most notably China - failed to pressure the North into abandoning its weapons programme.

North Korea test-fired a ballistic missile but it failed to go beyond its territory, the USA said today, as Pyonyang's defiant move amid repeated warnings from Washington ratcheted up tensions in the Korean Peninsula.

The launch was swiftly condemned by South Korean and Japanese leaders.

At this month's military parade, North Korea presented two of its newest model missiles, including the submarine-launched ballistic type it successfully fired past year and the land-based version it launched last month. "Bad!" President Donald Trump wrote on his Twitter account.

"We do see China starting to do something".

Last month Rex Tillerson declared "all options" were on the table when it came to North Korea, stating the "era of strategic patience" was over.

But he has also said he would prefer to resolve the issue through diplomacy.

Russian Federation joined China in appealing for a return to talks and de-escalation. But China says the United States must not over-estimate the influence it has over its neighbor.

In an interview with CBS' "Face the Nation", Trump said he won't be happy if North Korea conducts a nuclear test and that he believes Chinese President Xi Jinping won't be happy, either. "Indeed, North Korea has repeatedly claimed it plans to conduct such a strike".

A man watches a TV news programme reporting about North Korea's missile firing with a file footage at Seoul station in Seoul on Saturday.

The US military has moved an aircraft carrier strike group into the region, docked a powerful nuclear submarine in South Korea and staged large military drills with South Korea and Japan.

A Sea Hawk helicopter prepares to land on the aircraft carrier USS Carl Vinson in the Philippine Sea.

South Korea and the U.S. say the sole goal of THAAD is to guard against North Korean missiles.

"The official position remains unchanged that our government provides the land and other infrastructure while the USA covers the burden of cost of deploying and maintaining the THAAD system according to the regulations of the Status of Forces Agreement (SOFA)", the Ministry said in statement.

While President Trump is hesitant to share "all our moves", McMaster told Fox News on Sunday of his hopes that the USA will join forces with other countries to thwart any plans Kim Jong Un has for nuclear weapons.

On Sunday, the two allies concluded a massive annual military exercise called "Foal Eagle", which involved around 20,000 South Korean and 10,000 United States troops.

Kim In Ryong told The Associated Press that North Korea's nuclear weapons are never part of "political bargains and economic deals".

He said Japan "cannot accept repeated provocation by North Korea" and had "lodged a strong protest against North Korea".

North Korea has defied the United States and other world powers by test-firing a ballistic missile early on April 29.

The test is the state's fourth straight unsuccessful missile test since March.

It is not clear what has caused the series of failed missile tests since then.

Delivering what was probably the starkest apocalyptic warning heard at the United Nations in recent times, Tillerson told the Security Council, "The threat of a North Korean nuclear attack on Seoul, or Tokyo, is real".

What happened at the UN Security Council meeting?

The growing threat of a nuclear North Korea is going to be the focus for Secretary of State Rex Tillerson while he chairs a special meeting of the United Nations Security Council.

"This thing about North Korea missiles, it has been a long time that they've been doing this".

It comes as China ordered North Korea to stand down its rocket testing or risk harsh sanctions.

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