Published: Thu, March 09, 2017
Medicine | By Daryl Nelson

Korea's firing of ballistic missiles

Korea's firing of ballistic missiles

A South Korean military official said the latest launch, which took place at 7.36am local time Monday, was being investigated to determine the type of the projectile used.

North Korea fired at least four missiles toward Japan on Monday, three of which splashed down in waters near Japan.

The launches also prompted U.S. President Donald Trump to reaffirm what the White House called the "ironclad commitment" of the United States to stand with Japan and South Korea in the face of Pyongyang's repeated violations of U.N. resolutions.

North Korea criticises the drills and has previously conducted missile launches to coincide with them.

"As a first step", Wang said, this could be achieved by North Korea suspending its banned nuclear and missile program, which has accelerated in recent years as Kim Jong Un seeks to develop a nuclear-armed ballistic missile capable of hitting the USA mainland.

Japan and the United States have called on China to play a bigger role in persuading North Korea to scale back its nuclear ambitions.

"The United States stands with our allies in the face of this very serious threat", he said during his daily briefing.

The U.S. military said in a statement that THAAD is meant to intercept and destroy short and medium range ballistic missiles during the last part of their flights.

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North Korea had threatened to take "strong retaliatory measures" after South Korea and the United States began annual joint military drills on Wednesday that test their defensive readiness against possible aggression from the North.

Pyongyang criticized the maneuvers, calling them a preparation for war against the North. The launches put China in a hard position once again.

"Malaysia urges the DPRK to end all ballistic missile launches and, of paramount importance, to conform to all UNSC resolutions concerning the DPRK", it said.

Last month, North Korea launched a ballistic missile toward the Sea of Japan, a move that South Korea's military described as a "show of force" to the Trump administration.

North Korean leader Kim Jong-un supervised a ballistic rocket launching drill on the spot in this undated photo released in Pyongyang, North Korea on March 7, 2017.

The U.S. has responded to this aggression, setting up its advanced anti-missile defense system in South Korea, Reuters reported Tuesday.

Some equipment for the THAAD system had been delivered from the USA to South Korea, according to some reports on Tuesday.

Abe and Trump agreed to hold a bilateral "2 plus 2" meeting of the foreign and defense ministers of the two countries at an early date.

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