It looks like North Korea has launched another missile

Elias Hubbard
May 29, 2017

Russian Federation condemns North Korea's latest missile launches and calls on the world community to exercise restraint in its response, First Deputy Foreign Minister Vladimir Titov said Monday.

South Korea's new president, Moon Jae-In, ordered a meeting of the national security council to assess the launch, the defence ministry said.

May 14: North Korea test-fires its newly developed Hwasong-12 missile, which it says can carry a heavy nuclear warhead. Kim Hong-kyun, special representative for Korean Peninsula peace and security affairs at the foreign ministry, discussed the North Korea's missile test conducted early in the day in separate telephone conversations with his United States and Japanese counterparts - Joseph Yun and Kenji Kanasugi, respectively.

The missile was launched from the coastal town of Wonsan, the South's Joint Chiefs of Staff said in a statement.

Seoul's new liberal administration has said Pyongyang's repeated test launches were dashing hopes for peace on the Korean peninsula.

U.S. Secretary of Defense James Mattis, however, warned on a Sunday morning television news program that if a diplomatic solution can not be found for the situation with North Korea "it would be a catastrophic war if this turns into a combat".

Mr Moon called a National Security Council meeting to discuss the North's launch.

However, North Korea did not conduct any missile tests during the two months from Trump's election to his inauguration.

Despite Trump's strident warnings, Secretary of Defense James Mattis said in an interview that aired Sunday before the launch that a war with North Korea would be "catastrophic".

North Korea's state-controlled media had no immediate comment.

The Scud-class missile fired by North Korea reached an altitude of 120 km (75 miles), the military spokesman told a briefing.

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe told reporters that "North Korea's provocation by ignoring repeated warnings from the worldwide society is absolutely unacceptable". The projectile is said to be fired in the eastern direction. "We will maintain high vigilance in coordination with South Korea and the worldwide community and take all possible measures to secure the safety of the people of Japan".

Any pre-emptive military strike on North Korea would put South Korean and Japanese civilian populations, as well as U.S. military installations within those countries, at risk for a North Korean counterstrike.

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.

This was North Korea's second missile test in a week, coming even after the United Nations threatened more sanctions and G-7 leaders condemned the North.

Michael Penn, president of the Tokyo-based Shingetsu news agency, told Al Jazeera that the latest test was part of a North Korean effort to strengthen its military against any possible threats from the US.

Mr Moon has made tentative steps toward engaging the North by restarting stalled civilian aid and exchange programmes as a way to improve strained ties.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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