Seoul: North Korea fires ballistic missile off east coast

North Korea Fires Ballistic Missile Before Xi-Trump Meeting

The U.S. Pacific Command said it detected and tracked what it assessed as North Korean missile launched from land near the eastern coastal city of Sinpo. South Korea's Joint Chiefs of Staff said the missile flew about 60 kilometers (37 miles). But unlike the KN-15, which uses solid fuel, the missile fired Wednesday used liquid fuel and was sacked from a fixed location, rather than a mobile launcher, the official said. It wasn't immediately known if the much shorter distance of Wednesday's flight meant a failed launch.

Watchers say the first meeting was a "get to know you" session, but with Trump accepting President Xi's invitation to visit Beijing for a state visit, there are indications the two countries are willing to improve ties and boost cooperation on the issues of bilateral trade and North Korea. The missile launch may be a precursor, with more to come as the summit starts later this week, Cossa said.

"This administration wants to see them act and I think they're going to pressure them to do that", she said.

Recent satellite imagery shows possible preparations for a test at North Korea's main nuclear test site, including the laying of communication cables used to initiate a test and collect data.

U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said in a statement that the U.S. has spoken enough on North Korea and would have no further comment.

"The president emphasized that the United States stands with its allies Japan and South Korea in the face of the serious threat that North Korea continues to pose", the statement read.

Citing top ranking U.S. military and intelligence officials, NBC reports that, ahead of the summit, the U.S. National Security Council presented President Trump with a proposal for the deployment of American nuclear weapons to South Korea. Many weapons experts say the North could have a functioning nuclear-tipped missile capable of reaching the continental US within a few years.

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.

The extended-range Scud missile suffered an in-flight failure and fell into the sea off North Korea's east coast, according to USA imagery and assessments, the official said on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to discuss the launch publicly. North Korea is expected to feature in talks between Trump and Xi in Florida on April 6-7.

The projectile was sacked into the East Sea early Wednesday and flew about 60 kilometers (37 miles), South Korea's joint chiefs of staff said in a text message.

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