North Korea test fires ballistic missile, challenging US and Japan

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North Korea ballistic missile
Photo by (stephan)

According to report from AP, North Korea fired a ballistic missile early Sunday in what would be its first such test of the year and a challenge to President Trump, who stood with the Japanese leader as Shinzo Abe called the move “absolutely intolerable.”

The U.S. Strategic Command said it detected and tracked what it assessed to be a medium- or intermediate-range ballistic missile. The reports came as Trump was hosting Abe and just days before the North is to mark the birthday of leader Kim Jong Un’s late father, Kim Jong Il.

Appearing with Trump at a news conference at the president’s south Florida estate, Abe condemned the missile launch as “absolutely intolerable.” Trump followed Abe with even fewer words, saying in part: “I just want everybody to understand and fully know that the United States of America stands behind Japan, its great ally, 100 percent.”

Abe read a brief statement in which he called on the North to comply fully with relevant UN resolutions. He said Trump has assured him of US support and that Trump’s presence showed determination and commitment.

South Korea’s Joint Chiefs of Staff said in a statement the missile was fired from around Banghyon, North Pyongan Province, which is where South Korean officials have said the North test launched its powerful midrange Musudan missile on Oct. 15 and 20.

According to CNN sources, the missile traveled 500 kilometers (310 miles) before landing in the Sea of Japan, also known as the East Sea, and that it was launched from North Pyongan Province.
Acting South Korean President Hwang Kyo-ahn said: “The South Korean government and the international community are working together to take punitive actions appropriate for this launch.”
Trump’s national security adviser, Michael Flynn, spoke to his South Korean counterpart Kim Kwan Jin, according to the South Korean President’s office. They condemned the launch and agreed “to seek all possible options” to deter Pyongyang in the future.

Source: AP

Photo by (stephan)