Published: Wed, April 12, 2017
Money | By Oscar Reynolds

United Nations strongly condemns North Korea's latest missile launch

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.

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.

In Tuesday's launch, the missile flew about 60 km before crashing into the East Sea.

South Korea's Foreign Ministry called the North's latest missile launch a "reckless provocation" that posed a threat to global peace, while Japan's Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga said the country lodged a strong protest over the launch.

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said on Thursday that he and US President Donald Trump agreed in a telephone call that North Korea's latest ballistic missile launch was "a unsafe provocation and a serious threat".

The constant testing has deepened concern especially in nearby Japan and neighboring South Korea - and also in Washington over fears that Pyongyang could soon develop a nuclear-armed missile capable of reaching the US mainland.

On the other side of the equation, Hill recommends that the Trump Administration strengthen relationships with North Korea's neighbors.

The South Korean Defense Ministry would neither confirm nor deny the success of the test, saying the official name of the missile, which has been in development since 2012, would be published when it is deployed.

The North is banned from any missile or nuclear tests by the United Nations, though it has repeatedly broken those sanctions.

The two will discuss how to rein in North Korea's nuclear and missile programmes as the United States steps up the pressure on China, a historic ally of Pyongyang, to help more on the issue.

On Thursday, 38 North Reported, "Over the past four weeks, there have been unusually high levels of activity at the Punggye-ri nuclear test site", noting the uptick of activity around the North Portal, where the most recent tests took place.

The North conducted two nuclear tests and 24 ballistic missile tests previous year, defying six Security Council sanctions resolutions banning any testing. And China will either decide to help us with North Korea, or they won't.

Though an assassination attempt on North Korea's leader Kim Jong-un sounds like an alternate scene from Seth Rogen and James Franco's notorious 2014 film, "The Interview", in which the two play journalists given the task after securing an interview with him, it is a "tempting strategy when you're faced with a highly unpredictable and highly risky leader", Stavridis said.

"North Korea launched yet another intermediate range ballistic missile". North Korea sees the drills as an invasion rehearsal.

The U.S. Pacific Command said in a statement around the same time that initial assessments showed the missile was a mid-ranged KN-15.

The Hyunmoo-2B missile, which has a range of 500 kilometers, was successfully tested in April of 2014.

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