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

North Korea launches ballistic missile — South Korean military

While South Korea, China and Japan all worry about North Korea, ties between South Korea and China have been strained by South Korea's decision to install a US anti-missile system in defence against the North.

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

In the letter to 192 United Nations members and two observer states - dated Thursday - North Korea urged them to "reconsider any of their implementation activities until the legality of those "sanctions resolutions" are to be clarified".

The comments by Choe, who is a veteran member of the North's team of nuclear negotiators, came amid stepped up global efforts to press North Korea and ease tension over its pursuit of nuclear arms.

A senior North Korean diplomat today said the country would hold talks with Donald Trump's administration in the U.S. if conditions were right, South Korea's Yonhap news agency reported.

Two missile tests last month both failed, with the rockets exploding just minutes into flight.

Weapons experts and government officials believe the North has accomplished some technical progress with those tests.

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Despite increasing tensions between Pyongyang and Washington, a senior North Korean diplomat said the country would be willing to holds with the United States.

This is the first provocative move from North Korea since South Korean President Moon Jae-in took office.

That missile, launched April 29, blew up over land in North Korean territory, according to a spokesman for the US Pacific Command. "We'll have dialogue if the conditions are there", Choe Son Hui, North Korea's foreign ministry director general for USA affairs, told reporters in Beijing.

South Korea's new president has also indicated that he is open to talks with North Korea.

North Korea's state-run Korean Central News Agency carried the message following the UN Security Council's urging of stronger enforcement of Security Council Resolutions 2270 and 2321 on Pyongyang by UN members.

It comes as the reclusive country sent cryptic broadcasts across South Korea's airwaves telling "number 27 expedition agents" to "review" their "foreign language lessons".

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