North Korea Claims It Successfully Tested A New Weapon

North Korea fired the ballistic missile into the sea early on Sunday, the first test of Trump's vow to get tough on an isolated North Korean regime.

During a hastily organized news conference after playing golf with Trump in Florida on Sunday, Abe called the North's latest test "absolutely intolerable". It was a first such test since Donald Trump became the U.S. president in January.

"The United States of America stands behind Japan, its great ally, 100 percent", Trump said, and took no questions.

They also agreed to launch a high-level economic dialogue to be headed by Japanese Deputy Prime Minister Taro Aso and U.S. Vice President Mike Pence covering trade, macroeconomic policy as well as infrastructure and energy projects, Japanese officials said.

On Sunday (12 February), a defiant Kim Jong-un regime launched a ballistic missile, which is thought to be of either short- or medium-range, raising tensions on the Korean peninsula.

"Today's missile launch is aimed at drawing global attention to the North by boasting its nuclear and missile capabilities", the ministry said in a statement.

The North said the successfully test-fired projectile was a medium-to-long-range ballistic missile, Pukguksong-2.

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un has repeatedly hinted at the possibility of launching an inter-continental ballistic missile (ICBM), declaring in his New Year's message on January 1 this year that preparations to test-fire an ICBM have entered the final stage. Both missiles were intentionally fired high and soared to altitudes around 310 miles during their respective tests.

North Korea's ultimate goal is a nuclear-tipped long-range missile that can attack the USA mainland. In their joint statement, the two leaders urged North Korea "to abandon its nuclear and missile programs and not to take any further provocative actions".

Foreign Ministry spokesman Geng Shuang said China opposed the launch, which violated UN Security Council resolutions that call for an end to North Korea's nuclear and missile tests.

Washington and Seoul have committed to soon deploying the THAAD missile defense shield, a decision that has raised objections from China that the American advanced system can be used to monitor other countries in the region. Last year, federal prosecutors charged four Chinese businesspeople and a Chinese company with conspiring to create a web of shell companies to evade US economic sanctions and funnel money to North Korea.

Stephen Miller, senior adviser to Mr Trump, refused yesterday to say whether the missile launch crossed a "red line" for the president.

South Korea is looking for a "response" via the United Nations Security Council (UNSC), according to a diplomatic source cited by the Yonhap News Agency on Monday.

North Korea test-fired a ballistic missile on Sunday, marking the Pyongyang's first such provocation during the presidency of Donald Trump.

"We can not rule out the possibility that North Korea's actions may play out differently compared to the past as this is the first provocation since US President Donald Trump took office", the finance ministry said in a statement".

  • Leroy Wright