N. Korea fires ballistic missile ahead of Trump-Xi meeting

"The North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD) determined the missile launch from North Korea did not pose a threat to North America".

With the Mar-a-Lago summit between Donald Trump and Xi Jinping only a day away, North Korea decided that now would be the flawless time to carry out yet another ballistic missile test.

The South Korean military said the missile was sacked from land near the east coast city of Sinpo and flew about 40 miles.

Seoul and Washington are now analyzing both the missile type and the possible range of the missile launched by Pyongyang, the Yonhap news agency reported, adding that it was most likely a KN-15 medium range ballistic missile. Many weapons experts say the North could have a functioning nuclear-tipped missile capable of reaching the continental US within a few years.

Two weeks ago, the South Korean and USA militaries said they had detected a failed North Korean ballistic missile launch.

The Pentagon now assesses the North Korean missile launch Wednesday likely was a failure, Fox News has learned. Sinpo is the site of a North Korean submarine base.

US State Secretary Rex Tillerson, who had hinted at taking "military options" against the North's military provocations, issued a terse statement, saying "The United States has spoken enough about North Korea".

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.

"We have no further comment", Tillerson said in the statement.

The United States has been pushing China to put pressure on North Korea to stop its nuclear program and missile testing, but Trump said on Sunday the United States would be prepared to act alone to stop North Korea. "We think that all sides involved should exercise restraint and not do anything that will escalate the hard situation in the region".

The launch came amid worries that North Korea might soon conduct banned nuclear or long-range rocket tests.

"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.

President Donald Trump had warned on Sunday in an interview with Financial Times that he could take unilateral action to eliminate North Korea's nuclear threat.

North Korea is pushing hard to upgrade its weapons systems to cope with what it calls US hostility.

North Korea often responds to the drills with its own military training and harsh rhetoric. That makes them hard for those monitoring North Korea's military movements to spot, as there are fewer indicators, such as movement of trucks, for South Korean or U.S. satellites and other surveillance to pick up on.

On March 6, the Pyongyang regime launched four medium-range ballistic missiles, three of which landed in Japan's Special Economic Zone, just 200 km off the archipelago's shores, and two other missile tests since then apparently failed.

  • Zachary Reyes