Published: Mon, May 15, 2017
Global | By Maureen Mccoy

China opposes latest N. Korean missile test


While it wasn't immediately clear what type of missile was launched, the U.S. Pacific Command said that "the flight is not consistent with an intercontinental ballistic missile".

Moon, who was declared the victor on Tuesday of the presidential election, said he will "sincerely negotiate" with the United States, South Korea's chief ally, and China, South Korea's top trading partner, over the contentious deployment of the USA anti-missile system THAAD.

Chief Japanese Cabinet Secretary, Yoshihide Suga, called the latest test a violation of United Nations resolutions as he and Prime Minister Shinzo Abe condemned the move and issued a strong protest over North Korea's actions.

North Korea launched a ballistic missile from the northwestern part of the country early Sunday, the South Korean Joints Chief of Staff said.

"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.

Washington has been looking to China for help in reining in Kim and the missile test is likely to embarrass Beijing, which is hosting a summit Sunday to promote its ambitious global trade infrastructure project.

Meanwhile, a United States defense official said spy satellites are continuing to pick up signs of movement of scud missiles in North Korea that indicate preparations for a potential launch.

The launch was described by South Korean president Moon Jae-in as "a severe challenge to the peace and security of the Korean Peninsula and the world".

. The statement pointed out that the missile landed closer to Russian Federation than to Japan.

Sunday's launch, at 5:27 a.m. Seoul time, came two weeks after North Korea fired a missile that disintegrated minutes into flight, marking its fourth consecutive failure since March.

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.

"Australia regards this as a reckless and provocative action that leads to instability both regionally and globally and has condemned clearly in the past North Korea for this sort of behaviour and we do so again", she said.

He pointed to worsening relations between Beijing and Pyongyang as the US has increased pressure on China to act to reign in North Korea's nuclear program.

"North Korea wants to attain a credible regional nuclear capability with which it can hold regional targets under nuclear threat", he said.

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"The timing is not coincidental", Schuster said, adding that Kim may be trying to get Putin more involved on the situation on the Korean Peninsula.

People watch a television news programme, showing file footage of a North Korean missile launch in Seoul on May 14, 2017.

Kishida says he and South Korean Foreign Minister Yun Byung-se shared the view that dialogue is important for resolving the North Korean tensions. The latest "provocation" should serve as a call for all nations to implement far stronger sanctions against the North, it said.

Pyongyang's ballistic missile flew around 700 kilometers, South Korea's military said, according to Yonhap.

Japan's Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga says the missile test-fired by North Korea flew 800 kilometers (500 miles) for about 30 minutes and landed in the Sea of Japan, but not inside Japan's exclusive economic zone. A USA defense official confirmed that it flew that far, but said the U.S. is still assessing what type of missile it was.

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe told reporters that the launch was "absolutely unacceptable" and that Japan would respond resolutely.

The missile impacted "so close to Russian soil - in fact, closer to Russia than to Japan - the President can not imagine that Russia is pleased", the White House said.

In April, Mr Trump said he would be "honoured" to meet North Korean leader Kim Jong-un.

While military option against North Korea remains on the table, Washington is also pursuing diplomatic channels to address the issue.

"North Korea's pursuit of nuclear technology has impaired its own security as well as the region's, and it has also jeopardized China's national security", the paper said in an editorial this month.

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.

On Saturday, a senior North Korean diplomat who is a veteran member of its nuclear negotiating team, said the country was open to dialog with the Trump administration under the right conditions, without elaborating.

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