North Korea blights China's One Belt, One Road party with missile launch

15 May, 2017, 00:07 | Author: Essie Rivera

The U.S. Pacific Command, based in Hawaii, also announced that it detected and tracked the launch of the missile, which landed in the East Sea.

The projectile launch comes two weeks after a ballistic missile test that South Korean and U.S. officials said failed.

Moon, a liberal who favors a softer approach to the North than his conservative predecessors, strongly condemned the launch during an emergency national security meeting, calling it a clear violation of U.N. Security Council resolutions and a serious challenge to global peace and security, according to senior presidential secretary Yoon Young-chan.

The White House has responded to the latest North Korean ballistic missile launch late Saturday, saying that the rogue regime has been a "flagrant menace for far too long".

"If that report.is correct, then the launch may indeed represent a new missile with a long range", said Jonathan McDowell of the Harvard Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics, referring the estimated altitude of more than 2,000 km.

Also likely to be displeased was Russian President Vladimir Putin, who spoke at the forum shortly after Xi Jinping.

North Korea's past satellite rocket launches have been called clandestine tests of ICBM technology, but it is not believed to have tested a true intercontinental ballistic missile yet.

The missile, launched near the city of Kusong, flew 700 kilometers (435 miles), the South Korean military said.

In a statement issued Saturday night, the White House press secretary points out that the missile landed closer to Russian Federation than to Japan.

"The type of missile is being assessed and the flight was not consistent with an intercontinental ballistic missile", added the spokesperson for the U.S. military's Pacific Command.

The missile was sacked from the region of Kusong, northwest of Pyongyang, where the North in February successfully test-launched an intermediate-range missile that it is believed to be developing.

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North Korea has previously attempted at least nine missile launches on six occasions since US President Donald Trump was inaugurated in January.

In Australia, Defence Minister Marise Payne said North Korea's behaviour was unacceptable.

North Korea on February 12, launched the Pukguksong-2 missile, an upgraded, extended-range version of its submarine-launched ballistic missile, from the same site.

South Korean President Moon Jae-in, who took office on Wednesday, held his first National Security Council meeting as president in response to North Korea's latest missile launch, which he called a "clear violation" of U.N. Security Council resolutions, the presidential office said.

While military option against North Korea remains on the table, Washington is also pursuing diplomatic channels to address the issue. The type of missile has not been identified yet.

"With the missile impacting so close to Russian soil - in fact, closer to Russia than to Japan - the President can not imagine that Russia is pleased", Spicer said.

Writing on his organization's blog, Wright pointed out that the Japan's Ministry of Defense had the latest launch reaching an altitude of 2,000 kilometers (1,242 miles), considerably higher than would be needed for the distance the missile traveled during what was reported as a 30-minute flight time. "North Korea's missile launch is a serious threat to Japan and clearly violate against the United Nations resolution".

While Trump has said he'd be "honored" to talk with leader Kim Jong Un under favorable conditions, his administration on Sunday seemed to throw cold water on the idea of talks with North Korea. Japanese Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga said the launch was a direct violation of United Nations resolutions.

Moon, the first liberal leader in Seoul in almost a decade, said as he took his oath of office that he'd be willing to visit the North if the circumstances were right.

Japan's Prime Minister Shinzo Abe speaks to journalists at his official residence in Tokyo on May 14, 2017.

On Saturday, a top North Korean diplomat in charge of USA relations, Choe Son Hui, told reporters in Beijing that Pyongyang would be willing to meet with the Trump administration for negotiations "if the conditions are set".

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