North Korea fires missile into Sea of Japan - SKorea

"U.S. Pacific Command detected and tracked what we assess was a North Korean missile launch at 11:42 a.m. Hawaii time April 4", said Commander David Benham, a spokesman for U.S. Pacific Command, in a statement.

The US military said it was a KN-15 medium-range ballistic missile which it had determined posed no threat to the US mainland.

The latest launch came after President Donald Trump threatened the USA was prepared to go it alone in bringing the North to heel if China did not step in.

North Korea is banned from any missile or nuclear tests by the UN.

Trump met with Abe last month at the president's Mar-a-Lago resort, during which North Korea also conducted a missile test. "Until their nuclear and missile programs reach a point where they feel it could be used as a deterrent against the United States, the North probably won't show strong willingness for talks". North Korea called that test a success, but some outside analysts said it might test the weapon again before deploying it.

Past year in August, Pyongyang successfully test-fired a submarine-launched ballistic missile 500 kilometres towards Japan. "We believe North Korea would conduct another provocation".

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South Korea's foreign ministry strongly condemned the launch, which it said represented a "threat to peace and stability of the whole world".

"I've joked before that they don't mind being hated, but they definitely hate to be ignored", Ralph Cossa, president of the Pacific Forum CSIS think tank in Honolulu, said after Wednesday's launch. "We have no further comment", he told Reuters.

Earlier, Trump said in an interview published Sunday that China should help with the North Korea problem by using the "great influence" it has over Pyongyang, warning that if it doesn't, the US will solve the problem on its own, and that won't be good for anyone.

The move came after the reclusive state warned it will retaliate if the global community ramps up sanctions over its latest round of weapons tests. "The president has been pretty clear in messaging how important it is for China to coordinate with the United States, and for China to begin exerting its considerable economic leverage to bring about a peaceful resolution to that problem".

Two weeks ago, the South Korean and US militaries said they had detected a failed North Korean ballistic missile launch. In February, North Korea fired four ballistic missiles simultaneously off its east coast.

  • Adam Floyd