North Korea fires third test missile in as many weeks

North Korea, which also tested two nuclear devices previous year, fired a short-range ballistic missile that flew about 280 miles and reached an altitude of about 75 miles, South Korea's military said.

"Since our new government took office, North Korea has been frequently and repeatedly conducting provocation in such manner", South Korea's Ministry of Foreign Affairs said a statement.

A spokesman for South Korea's military said the missile reached an altitude of 120km, and "an analysis is under way on the specific number" of missiles fired, indicating that more than one could have been launched.

Suga, the Japanese cabinet secretary, said the missile fell about 300 kilometers (190 miles) north of the Oki islands in southwestern Japan and 500 kilometers (310 miles) west of Sado island in central Japan.

"Kim Jong Un. watched the test of a new type of anti-aircraft guided weapon system organised by the Academy of National Defence Science", KCNA said on Sunday. It tracked the missile for approximately six minutes until it landed in the Sea of Japan.

The US leader has urged China, the North's sole major ally and key trade partner, to do more to press Pyongyang to curb its missile and nuclear programmes.

The JCS is still working to determine exactly what type of missile it was but said early signs indicate it was not an intercontinental ballistic missile but a scud-type missile.

The South Korean statement did not say where the missile landed.

Mattis also warns that a war with North Korea would be catastrophic.

Suga, the Japanese cabinet secretary, said, "We can not tolerate such repeated actions from North Korea, and we have lodged a strong protest against North Korea, criticizing them in the strongest form".

"The United States confirmed that North Korea has test-launched another ballistic missile". When we visited North Korea last month, we asked the vice foreign minister if they still plan another nuclear test and he said Kim Jong Un will do it at a time of his choosing.

It said the defects discovered in previous tests have been worked out, and that the system should be deployed across North Korea "like forests".

But the North American Aerospace Defense Command said it "did not pose a threat to North America".

The US has said it is willing to enter into talks only if the North halts its missile and nuclear tests.

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, returning from a G-7 meeting in Italy, said that Japan will work with the United States to deter North Korea.

North Korea has increased its test-firing of ballistic missiles over recent months as it seeks to build nuclear-tipped missiles that can reach the U.S. mainland.

As with a number of previous North Korean tests, the timing of Monday's launch came close to a key worldwide event.

  • Leroy Wright