North Korea Fires Ballistic Missile Into its Eastern Waters

North Korea has fired a ballistic missile into the waters off its east coast, USA and South Korean officials said, amid worries that Pyongyang might soon conduct banned nuclear or long-range rocket tests.

The US military's Pacific Command said initial assessments suggest the KN-15 medium-range ballistic missile was sacked from a land-based facility rather than a submarine.

They said it flew about 60 km (40 miles) from its launch site near Sinpo, a port city on the North's east coast where a submarine base is located.

South Korean officials said McMaster spoke with his counterpart in Seoul, Kim Kwan-jin, on Thursday morning to discuss the North's missile launch and the Trump-Xi summit.

U.S. secretary of state Rex Tillerson said "the United States has spoken enough about North Korea" in reaction to the launch.

South Korea's Foreign Ministry called the North's latest missile launch a "reckless provocation" that posed a threat to worldwide peace, while Japanese Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga said his country lodged a strong protest over the launch.

"The launch of a single ballistic missile occurred at a land-based facility near Sinpo", the Command said in a statement.

The command says it believes the missile was a KN-15 medium range ballistic missile. North Koreans cheer as their country's women's soccer team competes against South Korea in a qualifying soccer match for the Asian Football Confederation Cup at the Kim Il Sung Stadium on Friday, April 7, 2017, in Pyongyang, No.

It was the latest in a series of increasingly dire warnings from the Trump administration about the dangers posed by Pyongyang's nuclear program.

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U.S. Ambassador Nikki Haley said Monday that "the United States has seen China for 25 plus years say that they're concerned about North Korea, but we haven't seen them act like they're concerned about North Korea".

The missile launch, one of many in recent months, also took place the same day senior White House officials delivered a stern message on North Korea's nuclear program.

North Korea's liquid fuel-powered ballistic missiles up until now required a garrison, fuel storage tanks and support vehicles to launch, which can be identified with imagery, experts say.

"Our army has already said that if there will be even the smallest provocation from the United States during exercises, we are ready to deliver the most ruthless blow", Interfax news agency quoted ambassador Kim Hyong-Jun as saying. Dave Benham, spokesman for US Pacific Command. The U.S. has consistently said the war games are defensive.

As well as a growing list of ballistic missile launches, North Korea has also conducted two nuclear weapons tests since January 2016.

"North Korea's long-term interest would be best served by ceasing its nuclear and missile programs and engaging positively with the worldwide community", she said.

Many weapons experts say the North could have a functioning nuclear-tipped missile capable of reaching the continental United States within a few years.

Pyongyang is barred under United Nations resolutions from carrying out ballistic missile launches or nuclear tests.

  • Adam Floyd