North Korea may have tested new technology in latest missile

"U.S. Pacific Command is fully committed to working closely with our Republic of Korea and Japanese allies to maintain security", the military said in a statement. It uses solid fuel already loaded inside the missile, which would shorten launch preparation times, boost the weapon's mobility and make it harder for outsiders to detect the signs of its liftoff.

South Korea's defence ministry said the missile - launched days after Pyongyang warned of retaliation if the global community ramps up sanctions - had flown 60 kilometers (about 40 miles). "Japan has lodged a stern protest with North Korea and strongly condemns the act", Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga, the government's top spokesman, told an emergency press conference.

This photo taken on February 12, 2017 and released on February 13 by North Korea's official Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) shows the launch of a surface-to-surface medium long-range ballistic missile Pukguksong-2 at an undisclosed location. The missile launched in February flew about 500 kilometers (310 miles), but it wasn't immediately clear if the shorter distance meant Wednesday's launch was a failure.

The isolated regime conducted 24 ballistic missile tests during 2016, and experts say it could have a nuclear-tipped missile capable of reaching the US mainland within a few years. It did not pose a threat to North America, Pacific Command said. "The United States has spoken enough about North Korea".

The testing of nuclear weapons by North Korea is expected to figure prominently in talks between the Trump and Jinping during their meeting, the official said on condition of anonymity.

"They've essentially taken their submarine-launched missile and turned it into a land-based one", Hanham said.

"I've joked before that they don't mind being hated but they definitely hate to be ignored", Cossa said. North Korea called that test a success, but some outside analysts said it might test the weapon again before deploying it. Washington, Seoul and others call the North's space program a cover for its long-range missile development program.

The US said they tracked the missile on its nine-minute journey from a launch pad near the North Korean coastal city of Sinpo before it landed around 37 miles east in the water.

Trump wants China to do more to exert its economic influence over unpredictable Pyongyang to restrain its nuclear and missile programs.

The United States began shipping components of an anti-missile system, called Terminal High Altitude Area Defense, to South Korea last month.

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

SEOUL, South Korea (AP) - The missile in North Korea's latest launch didn't fly very far, but it may have been the second test of a technology that worries experts.

  • Leroy Wright