Published: Sun, May 14, 2017
Worldwide | By Gretchen Simon

North Korea conducts its seventh ballistic missile test-launch of the year


Even though North Korea vows to develop the ability to attack the USA with their nuclear warheads that can reach throughout the Korean Peninsula, it has never tested a missile that could attack across the Pacific.

South Korea's Joint Chiefs of Staff confirmed the early morning launch but had few other details, including what type of ballistic missile was sacked.

"If the information that has been reported about the test are correct, the missile has considerably longer range than its current missiles", he said.

Whatever the type of missile, the launch forces the new South Korean leader, Moon Jae-in, to put dealing with Pyongyang, at least for now, above the domestic economic agenda he'd made a priority during his early days in office.

The launch was also aimed at "maximizing the North's political leverage" ahead of possible negotiations with the United States, as Pyongyang and Washington both recently signaled they were open to talks, he added.

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said the launch was "totally unacceptable" and a "grave threat" to Tokyo.

The launch served as a call for all nations to implement stronger sanctions against reclusive North Korea, the White House added.

North Korea conducted another in a string of missile tests Saturday amid heightened worldwide tensions over its nuclear program.

The missile landed in the Sea of Japan, between the Japanese islands and the Korean Peninsula.

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The nature of the launch is still being determined. She says more analysis was needed.

The tubby tyrant threatened previous year that he had a new missile capable of striking the island, and his brainwashed military have run practice attacks on the U.S. military base.

But the US military said that the flight pattern was "not consistent" with an ICBM and did not threaten the United States. "China opposes relevant launch activities by North Korea that are contrary to Security Council resolutions", China's foreign ministry said in a statement sent to Reuters.

He said in Beijing that "it's a serious problem for global stability and security, and I'm convinced that the upcoming G-7, in friendship, will contribute to resolving this issue".

"North Korea fired an unidentified missile at around 5.27 am on Sunday from an area in the vicinity of Kusong, North Pyongan province".

Tong Zhao, an analyst with the Carnegie-Tsinghua Center for Global Policy, said if the missile does have the range to hit Guam, it could give North Korea "a regional nuclear deterrence", meaning it might not need to pursue an intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) which could reach the U.S. mainland.

The North's state media said Saturday the nation will bolster its nuclear capability unless the United States abandons its hostile policy.

The Rodong Sinmun, the official newspaper of the ruling Workers' Party, said: "Our military and people don't blink an eyelash at any provocative actions by the enemies and will never give up on our powerful self-defence even for the whole world".

North Korea used missile launches to gauge Donald Trump's reaction soon after he became president, and could be attempting to do the same with Moon.

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