Published: Sat, April 08, 2017
Global | By Maureen Mccoy

North Korea fires missile into sea ahead of Trump-Xi summit

The intercept test is the first time the Pentagon has tested the $36 billion ground-based missile defense system in almost three years, Missile Defense Agency spokesman Christopher Johnson told Bloomberg in an email.

Beijing, increasingly frustrated with Pyongyang's nuclear and missile activities, has announced a suspension of all coal imports from the North until the end of the year.

Some experts think North Korea has tried to make sure the two world leaders are aware Pyongyang has a bargaining chip in any forthcoming moves to clam down on its weapons programs.

It's also an uncertain time for the region as the nascent Trump administration has yet to spell out its broader strategy for North Korea, which has increased its nuclear capabilities over the past few years. The letters read on top left "North Korea fired a ballistic missile".

The latest launch came after President Donald Trump threatened the USA was prepared to go it alone in bringing the North to heel if China did not step in.

But unlike the KN-15, which uses solid fuel, the missile fired Wednesday used liquid fuel and was sacked from a fixed location, rather than a mobile launcher, the official said.

The American government's deployment of a controversial missile defence shield to South Korea is meant to "hurt" China and goad it into putting more pressure on North Korea to abandon its nuclear programme, the former head of the Central Intelligence Agency has acknowledged.

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North Korea fired a ballistic missile into the waters off its east coast on Wednesday, April 5, South Korean officials said, in a continuation of its weapons launches made as the country is angrily reacting to annual military drills between USA and South Korean troops.

In February US defence Secretary James Mattis reassured Washington's Asian allies and said any nuclear attack by North Korea would trigger an "effective and overwhelming" response following President Trump's inauguration.

Do the Donald Trump Korea policy statements over the last week or so - along with statements by Secretary of State Tillerson and others in the government and military - indicate the United States might be planning a preemptive military strike against Kim Jong-un and North Korea?

In the second test on March 6, four Scud-ER missiles were fired, three of which fell into Japan's exclusive economic zone.

"It's high time we call out Lil' Kim, the loose cannon of east Asia, for what he is: a terrorist in a terrorist state", Poe said, using his preferred nickname for North Korean dictator Kim Jong-un.

Recent satellite imagery shows possible preparations for a test at North Korea's main nuclear test site, including the laying of communication cables used to initiate a test and collect data.

North Korea now has the strength to "wipe out" the United States "in a moment" with an H-bomb, the editorial said. Known as "Pukguksong-2" in North Korea, it's a newly developed, solid-fuel missile whose first publicly known test occurred in February.

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