North Korean missile test a damp squib

Remigio Civitarese
Aprile 18, 2017

The U.S., which last week acted unilaterally in ordering a cruise missile strike on Syria, has recently dispatched what Trump called an "armada", including an aircraft carrier, into waters off the Korean Peninsula.

British officials are said to be closely monitoring the situation amid simmering tensions between the U.S. and North Korea over the rogue state's nuclear weapons programme.

Pence, at a dinner at a U.S. Army garrison in Seoul, said that the willingness of military members "to stand firm without fear inspires the nation and inspires the world", adding that North Korea's latest "provocation" was another reminder of the risks that U.S. and South Korean service members face.

Pyongyang has yet to formally announce it has an operational ICBM, but experts and intelligence officials have warned it could be less than two years away from achieving an inter-continental strike capability.

The U.S. Pacific Command said the missile "blew up nearly immediately", adding the type of missile was being analyzed.

"We're going to continue to consult with the Republic of Korea on North Korea's efforts to advance its ballistic missile and its nuclear program", the official said.

A spokesperson for Putin described the Tomahawk missile strike as violation of worldwide law and deemed it to be another severe blow to U.S. - Russian Federation relations. It's the first visit to the Seoul National Cemetary by an official in the Trump administration, with South Korean officials seeing the gesture as emphasizing the strong Seoul-Washington alliance. While in Seoul, Pence will also meet National Assembly Speaker Chung Sye-kyun - also to discuss Trump's new North Korea policy and the THAAD missile defense system.

The incident is likely to escalate the rising tensions between the United States and North Korea over Pyongyang's rogue nuclear weapons ambitions.

On that occasion the ballistic missile flew for about 37 miles (60km) before landing in the Sea of Japan.

Saturday's parade combined with Sunday's failed missile launch made a sixth nuclear test increasingly likely, and if one was carried out, China would be compelled to support new sanctions against North Korea, the Global Times, an influential tabloid published by China's Communist Party paper said in an editorial.

"We have a wide array of tools at disposal for the president should he choose to use them", the official said.

China banned imports of North Korean coal on February 26, cutting off its most important export. China's customs department issued an official order on April 7 telling traders to return North Korean coal cargoes, said three trading sources with direct knowledge of the order.

Donald Trump has previously said that relations with Russian Federation were "at an all-time low", and the tension has undoubtedly been exacerbated by the ongoing investigations into Russia's meddling in last year's US elections.

"This launch can possibly be a test for a new type of missile or an upgrade", Kim added.

State news agency KCNA said the Trump administration's "serious military hysteria" had reached a "dangerous phase which can no longer be overlooked".

"North Korea is a liability to everybody and it's a threat not just to the United States, not just to South Korea, not just to Japan, not just to Russian Federation, but it's actually a threat to China as well", McFarland said Sunday on "Fox News Sunday".

Always-high animosity has risen on the Korean Peninsula in recent months, as the United States and South Korea conduct annual war games that North Korea claims are invasion preparation and the North prepared for Saturday's anniversary celebrations.

Trump's war threats came in response to North Korea's continued provocation in the form of military action.

Many analysts were anticipating Saturday's occasion to be marked by a similar missile launch.

Neither was able to determine immediately what kind of missile was being tested.

"If it is a failure, then failure is the mother of success", he told Reuters. Asked if he believed worldwide media reports, he said no, because "international media often lies and reports negative news about North Korea".

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