North Korea missile chief absent from recent launch

In this Sunday, Feb. 12, 2017, photo distributed on Monday, Feb. 13, 2017, by the North Korean government, "Pukguksong-2" is launched at an undisclosed location in North Korea. The country's ability to put a miniaturized nuclear weapon on a missile has risen after the test on Sunday, he said.

Kim Jong Un is declared the North's "supreme leader" during memorial ceremonies for his late father Kim Jong Il.

One of Mr Trump's election promises was to stop North Korea from developing missiles capable of carrying nuclear warheads to targets in continental United States. But it was quickly condemned in South Korea, where officials called the development a clear violation of U.N. Security Council resolutions.

Beijing "has been striving for a settlement of the Korean Peninsula issue by proactively engaging in mediation and promoting peace talks, " he said.

Pyongyang ramped up its nuclear programme previous year, firing a flurry of 24 missiles and conducting two nuclear tests.

The United States, Japan and South Korea requested the consultations after North Korea confirmed it had "successfully" tested a ballistic missile yesterday.

The missile was apparently launched eastward from the Panghyon air base near Kusong, northwest of Pyongyang and traveled 500 km, splashing down in the Sea of Japan.

Mr Trump's response has undoubtedly been moderated since he had a conciliatory phone call with China's president Xi Jinping last week.

However, some experts say that North Korea may ascertain USA policy toward North Korea before deciding whether to go ahead with the launch of an ICBM or another nuclear test.

Pyongyang test-fired Musudan missiles near the same place, where an airfield is located, in October previous year.

A missile flown on this trajectory would have a range of 1,200-1,250 km if flown on a standard trajectory with the same payload (Fig. 1).

A South Korean military source on Sunday said it reached an altitude of 550km.

Prior to taking office, Trump vowed to stop North Korea from acquiring the capability to strike the US with a ballistic missile carrying a nuclear weapon.

Japan's Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga has told reporters the missile test-fired by North Korea did not hit Japanese territorial seas.

United States authorities identified the missile as a "medium- or intermediate-range ballistic missile", according to the New York Times. "North Korea must fully comply with the relevant UN Security Council resolutions", Abe told a news conference at Palm Beach, Florida. But until Sunday, it hadn't tested a ballistic missile since October 20. It was Pyongyang's fifth atomic test and the second in eight months.

South Korea anticipates a presidential election later this year where the country's North Korea policy and the future of the US -backed Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) interceptor system will be important issues.

Mr Miller also said on Fox News Sunday that the U.S. would "reinforce and strengthen our vital alliances in the Pacific region as part of our strategy to deter and prevent the increasing hostility that we've seen in recent years from the North Korean regime".

  • Larry Hoffman