Friday, 23 June, 2017

Motives for North Korea's latest missile test

House votes to move toward designating North Korea as state sponsor of terror House votes to move toward designating North Korea as state sponsor of terror
Erik Tate | 08 April, 2017, 00:09

North Korea fired a ballistic missile into its eastern waters Wednesday, U.S. and South Korean officials said, amid worries the North might conduct banned nuclear or rocket tests ahead of the first summit between President Donald Trump and his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping this week.

Many weapons experts say the North could have a functioning nuclear-tipped missile capable of reaching the continental USA within a few years.

"Certainly there are many elements of national and coalition power that range from diplomatic to economic, but at the base of all of those would be military power that the USA and its allies must continue to consider, particularly when there remains a significant threat such as from what we see in North Korea".

This latest trial comes ahead of a summit between USA and Chinese leaders who are set to discuss Pyongyang's arms programme.

SKY-HIGH TENSIONS Tensions have risen sharply as North Korea has stepped up ballistic missile tests and amid boasts Kim Jong-un that his country was in the final stages of developing an intercontinental ballistic missile.

Japan's Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga said the North's missile launch was "extremely problematic" and Tokyo has lodged a strong protest against its nuclear-armed neighbour.

Every North Korean nuclear test and missile launch reminds the United States and its allies of the limited options they have on Pyongyang's nuclear ambitions. Seoul called a National Security Council meeting and vowed to respond strongly in case of further provocations.

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The United States, for its part, has installed a missile-defence system in South Korea. We have no further comment.

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 programmes on its own if need be.

The "reckless actions" are driving the tense situation on the Korean peninsula "to the brink of a war", a ministry spokesman was quoted as saying by the official KCNA news agency.

A senior U.S. White House official said Trump wanted to work with China and described the discussions over North Korea as a test for the U.S. Known as "Pukguksong-2" in North Korea, it's a newly developed, solid-fuel missile whose first publicly known test occurred in February.

The DPRK launched a ballistic missile on Wednesday that is believed to have fallen in the Sea of Japan.

An expert on the North's political strategy warned against reading too much political significance into the timing of the tests ahead of the US-China summit. The missile launch may be a precursor, with more to come as the summit starts later this week, Cossa said.

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