Published: Sun, April 16, 2017
Worldwide | By Sean Reid

Trump to Abe: US to boost military defense against NKorea


The Security Council on Thursday strongly condemned North Korea's latest ballistic missile launch and demanded a halt to all missile tests, stressing again that they violate United Nations sanctions and "are significantly increasing tension in the region and beyond".

On Tuesday night, North Korea launched a KN-15 missile from its eastern coast into the Sea of Japan, marking the fourth missile test conducted by the North Korean regime this year alone.

South Korea's military recently test-launched a 500-mile range cruise missile that can potentially strike all areas of North Korea, according to South Korean media.

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.

North Korea launched early this morning (Wednesday) an intermediate-range ballistic missile, according to South Korea.

Japan has lodged a protest following a reported North Korea ballistic missile launch.

Abe was meeting Trump at the Mar-a-Lago estate in February when North Korea launched a rocket, setting off a controversy when the leaders set up an impromptu, alfresco "situation room" in full view of the resort's guests.

The deployment of THAAD, the USA missile defense system, was also discussed. "We have no further comment", he said in a statement.

South Korea has successfully tested a new missile capable of striking targets anywhere inside North Korea, South Korean defense sources revealed Thursday.

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The European Union asked North Korea to "cease its provocations and to abandon all nuclear weapons and existing nuclear programs", and to begin talks with the worldwide community.

South Korea's defence ministry said the missile - launched days after Pyongyang warned of retaliation if the global community ramps up sanctions - had flown 60 kilometres.

North Korea often responds to the drills with its own military training and harsh rhetoric.

The test elicited a matter of fact response from the US State Department, unlike the standard condemnations that usually follow Pyongyang's missile tests. The missile launch may be a precursor, with more to come as the summit starts Thursday, he said. Many weapons experts say the North could have a functioning nuclear-tipped missile capable of reaching the continental US within a few years.

USA officials have not identified what type of missile was tested on March 21 since it exploded so soon after launch.

According to the FT, Trump said the USA could "totally" handle the situation in North Korea without assistance from the Chinese, but he declined to go into specifics.

The ministry said that it will closely cooperate with the European Union and the worldwide community to apply more pressure on the North so it will give up its nuclear and missile programs.

North Korea has long fired missiles and detonated nuclear devices during major political events in South Korea and the United States, and before or during regional talks.

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