North Korea Missile Test Fails Amid International Condemnation

Trump downplayed the significance of North Korea's "small missile launch", which occurred early Saturday.

Sen. Ed Markey (D-MA) also issued a statement criticizing Trump's "disrespectful" rhetoric against Seoul.

"I don't see this happening anytime soon", Spicer added. "People are saying, 'Is he sane?' I have no idea", the president said.

The total population of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea is estimated to be 24.9 million, according to the latest United Nations report on the plight of North Koreans.

South Korea immediately rejected the demand, but Trump insisted in an interview with the Washington Times the following day that he believes "it would be appropriate if they paid for it".

During the Security Council session, Tillerson said that the US goal isn't to overthrow Kim's regime but ruled out talks unless the North Korean leader takes "concrete steps to reduce the threat that illegal weapons programs pose to the United States and our allies".

North Korean ballistic missile tests are banned by the United Nations because they are seen as part of the North's push for a nuclear-tipped weapon that can hit the US mainland.

President Donald Trump would not rule out the use of military force against North Korea in an interview on CBS's "Face the Nation" on Saturday, just hours after Pyongyang launched a missile test in defiance of global pressure.

The South Korean and Japanese assessments about Saturday's launch indicate that the North fired the missile from a higher-than-normal angle to prevent it from flying too far, he said.

Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi said his country would adhere to past United Nations resolutions and wants a denuclearized Korean peninsula, but spelled out no further punitive steps his government might consider - despite Tillerson's assertions in an interview hours ahead of the council meeting that Beijing would impose sanctions of its own if North Korea conducts another nuclear test.

Trump also called North Korea's leader "a pretty smart cookie" for being able to hold onto power after taking over at a young age.

Trump did not answer reporters' questions about the missile launch as he entered the White House after he returned from a daytrip to Atlanta. "But perhaps they're just not very good missiles".

Trump's comments echo statements made in a recent interview with Reuters.

As part of that effort, he also reached out to Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte and invited him to meet at the White House, a move human rights organizations condemned. Unlike the United States, Beijing has pushed for talks first and action later on North Korea. But China says the United States must not over-estimate the influence it has over its neighbour. The U.S. also could resume aid to North Korea once it "begins to dismantle its nuclear weapons and missile technology programs", he said. He was asked specifically what he would tell U.S. President Donald Trump, who has sent a U.S. carrier to conduct drills near the Koreas, and other leaders to try to diffuse the tensions.

The test, from an area north of the North Korean capital, Pyongyang, appeared to have failed, US and South Korean officials said, in what would be North Korea's fourth successive unsuccessful missile test since March.

The destroyer was to meet up and escort a US supply ship in the Pacific Ocean south of Tokyo later Monday, a new mission under the new security legislation allowing Japan's military a greater role in overseas activity, according to Japanese media reports.

The Terminal High-Altitude Area Defense system, or THAAD, is controversial in South Korea, and presidential front-runner Moon Jae-in has vowed to reconsider the deployment if he wins the May 9 election.

It didn't immediately provide an estimate on how far the missile flew, but a US official, speaking on condition of anonymity to discuss sensitive matters, said it was likely a medium-range KN-17 ballistic missile.

It raises the tone of its warnings every spring, when Washington and Seoul carry out joint exercises it condemns as rehearsals for invasion.

  • Leroy Wright