South Korea: Rival North Korea launches ballistic missile
- Author: Leroy Wright May 14, 2017,
May 14, 2017, 12:05
President Moon Jae-in chairs a National Security Council session at the presidential office Cheong Wa Dae in Seoul on May 14, 2017, to discuss North Korea's missile launch earlier in the day.
The latest "provocation" should serve as a call for all nations to implement far stronger sanctions against the North, it said.
Outsiders will be especially interested in what kind of projectile was sacked.
U.S. President Donald Trump warned in an interview with Reuters in late April that a "major, major conflict" with the North was possible, but he would prefer a diplomatic outcome to the dispute over its nuclear and missile programs.
The US Pacific Command said it was assessing the type of missile but it was "not consistent with an intercontinental ballistic missile".
The launch was also aimed at "maximising the North's political leverage" ahead of possible negotiations with the USA, as Pyongyang and Washington both recently signalled they were open to talks, he added. "The president said we are leaving open the possibility of dialogue with North Korea, but we should sternly deal with a provocation to prevent North Korea from miscalculating".
North Korea fired a ballistic missile on Sunday in defiance of calls to rein in its weapons programme, South Korean and U.S. officials said, days after a new leader took office in the South, pledging to engage it in dialogue.
The launch will also complicate Moons efforts to mend ties with China that have been strained by a decision by South Korea's former government to deploy a United States anti-missile defence system aimed at defending against North Korea.
South Korea just swore in its new president, Moon Jae-in, Wednesday after the ouster of President Park Geun-hye in the wake of a corruption scandal.
North Korea on Sunday test-fired a ballistic missile, an official in the South Korean Ministry of Defense told CNN.
He said the government strongly condemned this "grave challenge to the peace and security of the Korean peninsula and the global community", his spokesman Yoon Young-Chan said.
Moon, who favors a softer approach to the North than his conservative predecessors, strongly condemned the launch during an emergency national security meeting, calling it a clear violation of UN Security Council resolutions and a serious challenge to worldwide peace and security, according to senior presidential secretary Yoon Young-chan.
"President Moon should immediately ditch his illusion that the North will change its behavior and face North Korea's true nature", said Jeong June-guil, spokesman of the conservative party. Those remarks followed recent comments by Trump that he would be "honored" to meet Kim under the right conditions.
But many say the isolated nation has made a great progress in its nuclear and missile capabilities since Kim took power after the death of his father and longtime ruler, Kim Jong-Il, in 2011.
Moon has moved more quickly on domestic economic goals than foreign policy. North Korea has been "a flagrant menace for far too long", the statement reads.
Shotaro Yachi, Abe's top security adviser, also had a call with USA national security adviser H.R. McMaster, Abe also told reporters.
Through its meeting with various US governmental bodies, the delegation plans to explain the benefits of the free trade agreement and its positive impact on the USA economy.
She was travelling from Norway, where she led a delegation that held an informal meeting with former American officials and scholars. She did not elaborate.
No sitting US president has ever met with the leader of North Korea while in power, and the idea is extremely controversial.