White House strategizes for North Korea missile tests

The Joint Chiefs of Staff in Seoul confirmed that the missile was launched from Sinpo, South Hamgyong province, eastern North Korea, at 6.40 local time, Efe news reported.

Security Council officials claimed they violate United Nations sanctions and "are significantly increasing tension in the region and beyond".

North Korea published photos after the test that demonstrated "a very challenging technology for us" to detect before launch, he said.

While he argued China "may be more willing to take actions, either by itself or with others, to slow the pace or even halt Pyongyang's nuclear and missile programs", Fravel noted that North Korea is a "much greater challenge militarily that can not be solved with symbolic strikes".

Abe said the two leaders agreed that North Korea's latest ballistic missile launch was a "dangerous provocation and poses a great threat to Japan's national security".

While Tillerson's statement was unusually short and vague, experts in South Korea and Japan saw it as a sign of consistency on how the United States under President Donald Trump will deal with North Korea as it speeds up its nuclear weapon and missile developments.

Citing a high-ranking government official, Yonhap said the South's missile with a range of 800 kilometres (500 miles) could serve as a strong deterrent to Pyongyang. "This administration wants to see them act", Haley said.

China has opposed to the deployment of a USA missile defense system in South Korea as it is unaware of it capabilities, experts said late Monday. While submarines are also a stealthy way to do that, North Korea doesn't have enough of them. The effect of further sanctions is questionable as North Korea puts the survival of its ruling elite before the wellbeing of its struggling populace and already is one of the most heavily penalized places on earth. The KN-15 missile tested in February flew about 500 kilometers (310 miles). "I don't see any upside to it because the idea that we would use a nuclear weapon even against North Korea is highly unlikely".

An expert on the North's political strategy warned against reading too much political significance into the timing of the tests ahead of the U.S-China summit.

Trump said ahead of the meeting that China has great influence over North Korea and he wants Xi to help the US denuclearize the reclusive northeast Asian nation.

Some Chinese experts say that the radar range could help the defence system cover missile and rocket launch sites deep in the northeast where People's Liberation Army (PLA) conducts tests of its long range weapons.

  • Leroy Wright