Korea, US National Security Advisers Condemn N. Korea Missile Launch

-China summit at which North Korea's accelerating atomic weapons program is set to top the agenda. So, North Korea is increasingly disappointed with the Trump administration.

The latest launch came after President Donald Trump threatened the U.S. was prepared to go it alone in bringing the North to heel if China did not step in.

The U.S. Pacific Command said in a statement around the same time that initial assessments showed the missile was a mid-ranged KN-15. The two leaders agreed to stay in close communication to enhance cooperation on the North Korea issue and other regional issues of mutual interest, the White House said. China denies it has any overriding influence on North Korea.

The launch came shortly before U.S. President Donald Trump's first meeting with Chinese leader Xi Jinping later this week, raising speculation that it might have been timed to get their attention.

The situation in North Korea has appeared to push the South China Sea issue onto the back burner for now, but Trump is expected to air USA concerns.

A USA defence official later said that the missile was an extended range Scud and had suffered an in-flight failure.

"The test-firing was successful", the official was quoted as saying.

The Pukguksong-2 medium-range ballistic missile fell into the Sea of Japan, according to the South Korean military.

"As for the military option, we're moving there because Beijing, you've painted us into a corner".

Now Trump has instead warned that he would take unilateral action to eliminate North Korea's nuclear threat - without the blessing of Beijing. North Korean leader Kim Jong Un may be unwilling to freeze these systems until he has achieved a credible long-range missile capability.

Keane told Fox News that, if the USA was facing an imminent attack from a North Korean intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM), President Donald Trump would have to act preemptively.

The question then arises as to what impact the United States president's willingness to exercise his military muscle may have on China's thinking.

China is North Korea's sole major diplomatic friend and a key trading partner that supplies the isolated state with much of its hard currency in the face of stringent global sanctions.

They also reaffirmed that they will press ahead with the installation of a Terminal High Altitude Area Defense system to South Korea.

In brief comments televised nationally, Abe also said Trump had told him all options were on the table.

Pyongyang is on a quest to develop a long-range missile capable of hitting the USA mainland with a nuclear warhead, and has so far staged five nuclear tests, two of them previous year.

  • Julie Sanders