Tillerson's terse words seen as tactical change over NKorea

The North has fired missiles when South Korea hosted the 2010 Group of 20 summit and other events, and while top US officials were traveling in the region.

"The drills are aimed at securing an effective response by the three countries to North Korea's submarine threats, especially as it is developing submarine-launched ballistic missiles (SLBMs)", Yonhap News Agency quoted the ministry as saying.

The North's latest missile launch also came during annual military drills between the United States and South Korea.

"We do need to talk about it in terms of what are we as a council are going to do to deal with North Korea and how do we push that forward".

The move comes amid reports that Pyongyang is supposedly preparing for another nuclear test and more missile launches.

The 60 kilometers is a relatively short flight compared with the distances that other North Korean missiles flew.

Kim, the analyst, also said it's likely the North will continue to test-fire missiles over the next few months as it continues to pursue a reliable nuclear-tipped missile that can reach the mainland U.S.

The U.S. Pacific Command says North Korea fired a medium-range ballistic missile at 6:42 a.m. Wednesday Seoul time from a spot on its east coast near the city of Sinpo. "The launch of a single ballistic missile occurred at a land-based facility near Sinpo". The missile launch may be a precursor, with more to come as the summit starts Thursday, he said.

"I've joked before that they don't mind being hated but they definitely hate to be ignored", Cossa said.

The South Korean government reacted by convening its National Security Council and ordering its troops to a higher state of readiness, while the Japanese government issued a strongly worded condemnation of Pyongyang's latest act of provocation.

And in a seemingly terse statement, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said, "North Korea launched yet another intermediate range ballistic missile".

Experts and officials in the South and the United States believe Pyongyang is still some time away from mastering all the technology needed for an operational ICBM system, such as re-entry of the atmosphere and subsequent missile guidance.

On Monday, the U.S. House of Representatives voted by an overwhelming majority to designate North Korea as a state sponsor of terrorism, a bill that passed 394-1, according to the Washington Examiner.

And Hyten said North Korea showed off pictures "for the entire world to see out of a place we'd never seen before that showed a new technology". -China summit in Florida, Trump had threatened to use crucial trade ties with China to pressure Beijing into more action on North Korea. The regime celebrates the 105th birthday of founding president Kim Il Sung on April 15 and the 85th anniversary of the foundation of the Korean People's Army 10 days later.

While Trump and his top policymakers continue their tough talk on the North Korean issue, it's unclear such rhetoric would be enough to effectively influence North Korea and China, Pyongyang's only major ally.

  • Leroy Wright