Published: Tue, February 14, 2017
Global Media | By Garry Long

How Are North Korea's Neighbors Responding to Missile Launch?

How Are North Korea's Neighbors Responding to Missile Launch?

The defence secretary's words came after North Korean leader Kim Jong-un said in his New Year speech his army was close to test-launching an intercontinental ballistic missile - and state media has said a launch could come at any time.

A U.S. official said the missile tested traveled 500 kilometers (310 miles) before landing in the Sea of Japan and that it was launched from North Pyongan province.

The United States, Japan and South Korea have requested an urgent meeting of the U.N. Security Council on North Korea's latest ballistic missile launch.

Abe called the missile launch "absolutely intolerable" and demanded that North Korea comply with United Nations Security Council resolutions that ban it from using ballistic-missile technology.

China is North Korea's main ally and trading partner but is irritated by its repeated aggressive actions, although it rejects suggestions from the USA and others that it could be doing more to rein in its neighbour.

A view of the test-fire of Pukguksong-2 guided by North Korean leader Kim Jong Un on the spot, in this undated photo released by North Korea's Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) in Pyongyang, February 13, 2017. Seoul's military said it was part of armed protest against the new USA administration's hard-line stance toward the DPRK.

North Korea's latest ballistic missile test has been widely condemned.

The missile reached an altitude of 340 miles and flew roughly the same distance towards Japan before splashing down on the Korean peninsula's east coast, Reuters reported.

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The launch was seen as a test of the response from Mr Trump, who pledged "100%" support to USA regional ally Japan.

North Korea's relationship with China - its most important ally - has kept Pyongyang afloat as sanctions have crippled and isolated it from the rest of the world.

Gardner also encouraged Trump to accelerate the deployment of a missile defense system to South Korea.

Sunday's launch comes a day after Trump held a summit meeting with Abe and said he agreed to work to ensure strong defence against North Korea's threat.

The missile, which sources said landed in the Sea of Japan, was sacked as Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe visited President Trump in the United States.

North Korea has showed footage and images of a new mobile, medium-range ballistic missile that it test-fired over the weekend, suggesting that the country is making advances toward making its ballistic missiles less vulnerable to tracking and preemptive strikes. And many suspect it will test a missile capable of reaching the continental US later this year. Weapons experts say solid-fuel missiles pose greater threats as they require less preparation time than liquid-fueled rockets, and can be fired from mobile launchers easy to move around. It has a greater range than some of the Musudan missiles that they have been testing prior to that.

A North Korean ballistic missile test conducted on 12 February has been widely condemned by the global community.

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