US to boost military defence against N Korea: Trump tells Abe

The US on Wednesday said that it is considering all options to tackle the threat posed by North Korea's repeated nuclear arms tests, hours after Pyongyang fired another ballistic missile into the Sea of Japan. Similarly, when a launch fails they are also unable to determine what brought the missile down.

A Japanese government official stated that Abe strongly denounced North Korea, saying that the recurring launches are highly provocative. Most North Korean missiles use liquid propellant, which generally must be added to the missile on the launch pad before firing. The earlier one in February flew about 500 kilometers (310 miles).

"For North Korea, making advancements on missile and nuclear weapons technology is the clear priority, and political and diplomatic considerations come second", said Kim Dong-yub, an analyst at Seoul's Institute for Far Eastern Studies. Many experts say a "Pukguksong-2" missile would be a greater security threat, because it can be launched anywhere from a mobile vehicle. 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 following is a timeline of North's Korea's nuclear and missile tests.

North Korea's state media have said the world will soon witness what they called "eventful successes" in the country's space development.

The missile launch comes ahead of the crucial meeting between President Donald Trump and his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping in Florida on Thursday, during which the two leaders are expected to discuss a range of global issues, including North Korea's nuclear ambitions.

US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson issued an unusually short statement in response to the test. The U.S. president has said Beijing can do more to rein in North Korea. "China wants to make efforts with all sides involved, to make denuclearization a reality, and ensure peace in the region".

Dictator Kim Jong-Un has has stepped up the frequency of its weapons testing over the past two years and experts say it is closing in on the ability to hit America with a rocket.

Abe told Trump that Japan will be closely following the U.S.

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.

October 2006: North Korea conducts first nuclear test. North Korea sees the drills as an invasion rehearsal.

Trump, who's been particularly interested in limiting China's trade with the north, could possibly make a deal with Xi on Thursday, restricting the nation's current policies in exchange for USA officials participating in direct talks with North Korean Supreme Leader Kim Jong Un - a measure former President Barack Obama's administration refused to enact.

  • Carolyn Briggs