Washington conducts live-fire interceptor test

Japan, on the other hand, is pressuring China to play a bigger role in restraining North Korea nuclear programs as it appears to be the only one that can help end the wave of provocative actions in the Peninsula.

In his New Year address to the nation, Kim said the country was in the final phase of developing an ICBM that would allow it to target the USA with a nuclear weapon in the future, with the aim of aiding the survival of the communist regime.

Speaking on the development, the US Missile Defence Agency (MDA) stated that a ground-based interceptor was launched at a California air base and it successfully shot down a mock ballistic missile.

United Nations diplomats, speaking on condition of anonymity, have said it appeared China was still only prepared to act if North Korea conducted a long-range missile launch or a nuclear test and that Beijing does not view the dozens of ballistic missile launches in the past year as warranting further United Nations sanctions.

Trump is seeking to gain China's support in reigning in North Korea's programs.

The intercept is likely the last major test Syring will oversee before leaving MDA.

China continues to call for resuming the long-stalled six-party talks, which were halted when North Korea walked out on the negotiations in 2009.

"We do think they're trying to counter what is happening now".

Haley added that Washington was not "backpedaling" on its policies concerning the North. "How should we respond in a way that actually stops these things or slows them down?"

"Kim is attempting to prove that he has the capability to strike the United States mainland with a nuclear weapon".

The Pentagon is still incorporating engineering upgrades to a missile interceptor that has yet to be fully tested in realistic conditions.

While North Korea now lacks the capability to hit the USA mainland, the U.S. military intelligence chief recently warned that such a development is only a matter of time, this adds pressure as the World War 3 threat continues to mount.

North Korea has dramatically ramped up missile tests over the past year in its effort to develop an ICBM that can strike the US mainland. To truly threaten the United States, North Korea would have to demonstrate that it has a missile that can reach the West Coast or farther inland, and it would have to learn how to shrink a nuclear warhead to fit atop an intercontinental missile and survive the stresses of re-entering the atmosphere.

The continental United States is about 9,000km from North Korea.

  • Leroy Wright