North Korea on Wednesday again fired a ballistic missile into the Sea of Japan, South Korean and USA military officials said, in a provocation that comes amid annual joint U.S.
The missile unlike its predecessor is an advanced KN-15 medium-range missile which was sacked using liquid fuel from a fixed location rather than a rocket launcher.
The Security Council on Thursday strongly condemned North Korea's latest ballistic missile launch and demanded a halt to all missile tests, stressing again that they violate United Nations sanctions and "are significantly increasing tension in the region and beyond".
SEOUL, South Korea (AP) The response of America's chief diplomat to North Korea's latest missile launch was an abrupt departure from the usual which may be a turning point, analysts in Asia say.
"The United States has spoken enough about North Korea".
North Korea has been pursuing its nuclear and missile programs at an unprecedented pace since past year, with an aim to expand its deterrence against Washington and diversify its line-up of nuclear-equipped missiles, another expert said.
President Trump's unexpected decision to launch 59 Tomahawk missiles at a Syrian airfield early Friday is a clear message to North Korea that the White House is willing to act militarily when its security is compromised, experts say.
It is the latest in a series of tests which the North has been conducting in pursuit of its goal of developing a nuclear missile. However, this missile flew only a short distance.
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In Tokyo, Abe said Trump had reaffirmed that all options are available in dealing with North Korea's nuclear and missile programs.
Pyongyang is on a quest to develop a long-range missile capable of hitting the USA mainland with a nuclear warhead, and has so far staged five nuclear tests, two of them a year ago.
On Sunday, Trump held out the possibility of using trade as a lever to secure Chinese cooperation, while suggesting Washington might deal with Pyongyang's nuclear and missile programs on its own if need be.
The launch came amid worries that North Korea might soon conduct banned nuclear or long-range rocket tests. "And China will either decide to help us with North Korea, or they won't".
In response to another ballistic missile firing by North Korea - the third since President Trump took office - Secretary of State Rex Tillerson on Tuesday night gave what may be the bluntest US response yet to the provocative action.
"U.S. Pacific Command detected and tracked what we assess was a North Korean missile launch at 11:42 a.m. Hawaii time April 4", said Commander David Benham, a spokesman for U.S. Pacific Command, in a statement.
The aim appears to be a dual economic and military approach to pressure North Korea. The missile strikes on Syria bring more weight to that statement.
That time the United States leader responded by pledging "100 per cent" support for Japan, which along with South Korea is Washington's key regional ally.