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.