US comment terse on latest North Korea missile

Posted April 08, 2017

The US on Wednesday said that it is considering all options to tackle the threat posed by North Korea's repeated nuclear arms tests, hours after Pyongyang fired another ballistic missile into the Sea of Japan.

Though officials from US Pacific Command (PACOM) - the US's regional asset in the area - detected a KN-15 medium range ballistic missile during their initial assessment, they determined it was of little threat.

"North Korea fired a ballistic missile into the East Sea from a site in the vicinity of Sinpo, South Hamgyong Province, at around 6.42am", the Joint Chiefs of Staff (JCS) said in a statement.

"North Korea fired an unidentified projectile into the Sea of Japan this morning from (the eastern port of) Sinpo", the ministry said in a statement.

In March, Tillerson said that all options, including military, are on the table to counter the regime's nuclear ambitions. Or was the launch just part of its broader missile development programs, with outsiders reading too much from a routine weapons test?

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The North is believed to be developing an intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) that can hit the United States and its leader, Kim Jong Un, has vowed to test-launch one at any time.

Seoul and Washington are now analysing both the missile type and the possible range of the missile launched by Pyongyang, the Yonhap news agency reported, adding that it was most likely a KN-15 medium range ballistic missile.

North Korea could choose to continue with missile-related activities through next week, when the isolated and impoverished country celebrates the 105th anniversary of the birth of the state's founder, Kim Il Sung. And his solution? "I will promptly enter into negotiations with the United States to redeploy tactical nuclear weapons on the Korean peninsula".

"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". The launch - a KN-15 medium-range ballistic missile - will fuel global concerns about the hermit state's weapons programme.

Abe said that he told Trump that Japan is paying close attention to how China handles the issue of North Korea.

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Sporting links "have eased anxieties during times of escalating tensions" said Michael Spavor, director of Paektu Culture Exchange, which facilitates exchanges in multiple fields with the North.

Pyongyang is barred under United Nations resolutions from carrying out ballistic missile launches or nuclear tests.

In 2012, it reached an agreement with the USA to nearly triple the range of its ballistic missile systems to guard against the North's nuclear threats, and has since been developing missiles with longer ranges.

Two weeks ago the South Korean and U.S. militaries said they had detected a failed North Korean ballistic missile launch.

"There were instances in the past when South Korea used sports, along with humanitarian programs like the temporary meetings between war-separated relatives, to create a friendlier atmosphere for inter-Korean relations", he said.

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