North Korea Launches Missile, Trump Speculates On Russia Response

North Korea Launches Missile, Trump Speculates On Russia Response

North Korea Launches Missile, Trump Speculates On Russia Response

North Korea, defying calls to rein in its weapons program, fired a ballistic missile that landed in the sea near Russian Federation on Sunday, days after a new leader came to power in South Korea pledging to engage Pyongyang in dialogue.

This two-stage, liquid-fueled missile may have been the type test-launched by North Korea on Sunday, experts say. Japanese Defence Minister Tomomi Inada said the missile could be of a new type.

However, Japanese officials said the missile flew for about 30 minutes, travelling about 800 km (500 miles) and reaching an altitude of 2,000 km (1,240 miles) - a flight pattern that could indicate a new type of missile.

If the North's latest missile launch is confirmed to be a success, Pyongyang is now equipped with a wide range of ballistic missiles that can target USA military installations in South Korea, Japan, Guam and potentially Hawaii, observers noted. "With the missile impacting 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, referring to U.S. President Donald Trump.

Moon said the missile test violates UN Security Council resolutions and called it a severe challenge to the peace and security of the Korean Peninsula and the world, presidential spokesman Yoon Young-chan said.

"Even if dialogue is possible, (we) should show (to North Korea) that it's possible only in case of North Korea changing its attitude", Moon said, presiding over a session of the National Security Council. Russian President Vladimir Putin as well as a North Korean delegation attended the conference. He also gave the missile an estimated range of 7,000 km - enough to target the U.S. Pacific Command (PACOM) in Hawaii.

China, North Korea's sole main ally which nevertheless objects to its weapons programs, called for restraint and for no one to exacerbate tensions.

Pyongyang's missiles that target Japan have been particularly worrisome, as they could pose serious obstacles to the augmentation of US troops from Japan to the Korean Peninsula in case of a peninsular contingency.

Before Sunday, North Korea had attempted at least nine missile launches on six occasions since US President Donald Trump was inaugurated in January.

An EU spokesperson has told North Korea that the test-firing of a ballistic missile constitutes a "threat to global peace and security" as Pyongyang ratchets up tensions in the region.

Multiple sets of United Nations and USA sanctions against North Korea have done little to deter the country in its pursuit of its nuclear and missile ambitions.

North Korea on February 12, launched the Pukguksong-2 missile, an upgraded, extended-range version of its submarine-launched ballistic missile, from the same site.

The US calculated that the missile landed in water 60 miles south of Russia's Vladivostok region, an American security official told CNN.

USA president Donald Trump has vowed not to let North Korea achieve this goal.

The North attempted but failed to test-launch ballistic missiles four times in the past two months but has conducted various tests since the beginning of a year ago at an unprecedented pace. And the White House says the latest "provocation" should serve as a call for all nations to implement far stronger sanctions against the North.

Trump warned in an interview with Reuters in April that a "major, major conflict" with the North was possible but he would prefer a diplomatic outcome.

Though tensions between the United States and North Korea have been higher than usual over the past few months, a senior North Korean diplomat told South Korea's Yonhap news agency on Saturday that Pyongyang is open to talks with Washington "under the right conditions".

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