North Korea fires missile in third test in three weeks

North Korea fires missile in third test in three weeks

North Korea last test-fired a ballistic missile on May 21 off its east coast and said it had tested a new anti-aircraft weapon supervised by leader Kim Jong-Un.

North Korea's often-stated goal is to ideal a nuclear warhead that it can put on a missile capable of hitting Washington or other US cities.

Following its test-firing earlier this month of what analysts said was its longest-range rocket yet, the UN Security Council vowed to push all countries to tighten sanctions against Pyongyang.

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's top national security adviser, Shotaro Yachi, met China's top diplomat, State Councillor Yang Jiechi, for five hours of talks near Tokyo on Monday after the North's latest test. "We will never tolerate North Korea's continued provocations that ignore repeated warnings by the worldwide community", Abe told reporters.

The prime minister stated, "As we agreed at the recent G7, the issue of North Korea is a top priority for the global community..."

Despite repeated worldwide warnings, Monday's missile test was North Korea's third in a little over three weeks.

Najam predicted the US interceptor launch will likely trigger even more tests by the North Koreans.

"Presumably, North Korea reached a certain technological progress in this area", he told reporters.

The missile launched on Monday was equipped with an advanced automated pre-launch sequence compared with previous versions of the "Hwasong" rockets, North Korea's name for its Scud-class missiles, KCNA said.

North Korea is still thought to be several years from its goal of being able to target US mainland cities with a nuclear intercontinental ballistic missile. "The repeated provocative acts by North Korea is absolutely not acceptable".

The missile was sacked on Monday from the region of Wonsan in an easterly direction into the Sea of Japan, South Korea's military said.

Analysts say all of North Korea's tests, successful or not, provide information that help bring it closer to its goal of building a missile that could reach the US.

Thornton, acting assistant secretary of state for East Asian and Pacific affairs, said Beijing understands the USA views the North Korea situation as an urgent "time-limited problem set".

Observers say China and the United States have edged closer recently, as Beijing increasingly sees North Korea as a liability.

US President Donald Trump tweeted that North Korea showed "great disrespect" for longtime ally China with the test.

"It is a severe threat to the peace and stability of not only the Korean Peninsula, but also the global community", said a statement from South Korea's Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

Japanese Defense Minister Tomomi Inada said the missile hit the water about 350 kilometers (217 miles) from the east coast of North Korea.

Pyongyang is looking to fire missiles with less warning and lead-up time, smaller satellite signatures to avoid preemptive detection, and from anywhere in the country (hence the tracked transporter-erector-launchers for this missile and the Pukkuksong-2).

Kim was quoted as ordering the "continued development of more powerful strategic weapons" based on the success.

South Korea's military said the Scud-type missile travelled for 450 km (280 miles).

The command says the missile posed no threat to North America.

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