Motives for North Korea's latest missile test

Seoul: North Korea fires ballistic missile off east coast

South Korea and the USA confirm North Korea launched a single ballistic missile at a facility near Sinpo at 6:42 a.m. Korea time (5:42 p.m. ET).

Nuclear-armed North Korea on Wednesday fired a ballistic missile into the Sea of Japan, South Korea and the USA military said, days after Pyongyang warned of retaliation if the global community ramps up sanctions.

"It spun out of control after going only a fraction of its range", the official said.

Last August Pyongyang also successfully test-fired a submarine-launched ballistic missile 500 kilometers towards Japan, far exceeding any previous sub-launched tests, in what the North's leader Kim Jong-Un hailed as the "greatest success".

The match comes as the North's nuclear ambitions top the agenda at a meeting between US President Donald Trump and his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping that follows Pyongyang's latest missile launch this week, in violation of United Nations resolutions and condemned by the Security Council. "As it is getting closer (to the Trump-Xi summit), Washington might have felt it wouldn't be necessary or strategically sensible to give any signals about what it would do in response to North Korea's provocations".

The U.S. military said it was a KN-15 medium-range ballistic missile which they had determined posed no threat to America.

Meanwhile, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson announced that the USA government will not release any more comment on North Korea's launch of another intermediate range ballistic missile. -South Korea military drills.

The South Korean military said the missile was sacked from land near the east coast city of Sinpo and flew about 60 kilometres (40 miles). -China cooperation in exerting economic pressure on North Korea.

U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson acknowledged the launch in a brief statement but said the U.S. had spoken enough about North Korea and would not comment further. The U.S. also will test avionics updates to the booster rocket built by Orbital ATK Inc. that carries an improved version of a hit-to-kill conventional warhead, Missile Defense Agency officials have said.

North Korea is pushing hard to upgrade its weapons systems to cope with what it calls US hostility.

The Pentagon last April told Congress that North Korea continues to develop a mobile intercontinental ballistic missile that "would likely be capable of reaching much of the continental United States".

"I've joked before that they don't mind being hated, but they definitely hate to be ignored", Ralph Cossa, president of the Pacific Forum CSIS think tank in Honolulu, said after Wednesday's launch.

"China will either decide to help us with North Korea, or they won't", Trump said.

FILE - In this file image made from video released by KRT on Tuesday, March 7, 2017, North Korea launches four missiles in an undisclosed location North Korea.

The 60 kilometers is a relatively short flight compared with the distances that other North Korean missiles flew. North Korea sees the drills as an invasion rehearsal.


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