Americans strongly back military use to defend allies from North Korea

09 April, 2017, 02:37 | Author: Brian Mcdaniel

US officials said on Wednesday that the missile appeared to be a liquid-fueled, extended-range Scud missile which only traveled a fraction of its range. It comes a day before the start of a meeting between the US President and China's President Xi Jinping in Mar-a-Lago.

Initial U.S. and South Korean assessments had indicated it was an advanced KN-15 medium-range missile, whose first known test by North Korea was in February.

Two weeks ago, the South Korean and USA militaries said they had detected a failed North Korean ballistic missile launch. The launch also came amid ongoing annual South Korea-U.S. military drills that North Korea usually responds to with its own military training and missile tests. The North has defied the ban, saying it infringes on its sovereign rights to self-defence and the pursuit of space exploration.

Diplomatic and economic measures taken to rein in North Korea's missile programme have not had the desired effect, a senior United States military commander said on Thursday after the North's latest test triggered a flurry of calls among world leaders.

Trump "made clear that the United States will continue to strengthen its ability to deter and defend itself and its allies with the full range of its military capabilities", the White House said in a statement about the call.

"China has great influence over North Korea", Trump said.

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North Korea's foreign ministry on Monday assailed Washington for its tough talk and for an ongoing joint military exercise with South Korea and Japan which Pyongyang sees as a dress rehearsal for invasion.

On March 22, Pyongyang test-launched what was presumed to be a Musudan intermediate-range ballistic missile from its eastern region, but it failed as it exploded in midair.

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. The emergency National Security Council meeting called to discuss the launch was presided over by Kim Kwan-jin, the national security adviser to Acting President Hwang Kyo-han. The reclusive state has also conducted two nuclear weapons tests since January 2016.

They added that the launch was made from land and not from the sea, ruling out the possibility that it was a ballistic missile launched from a submarine (SLBM), as Pyongyang has launched before from the sea off the coast of Sinpo, where its main centre of development for these projectiles is located.

The idea that the United States could deprive North Korea of its "nuclear deterrent" through sanctions is "the wildest dream", it said.

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