SKorea: Rival N.Korea launches ballistic missile

North Korea's past satellite rocket launches have been called clandestine tests of ICBM technology, but it is not believed to have tested a true intercontinental ballistic missile yet. North Korea has also said that it would not abandon its missile and nuclear programs unless the USA ended its hostility toward Pyongyang. Its Musudan intermediate-range missiles with ranges of over 3,000 km put the US strategic military base in Guam within striking range. They also acknowledged the importance of the role China is playing in its dealings with its North Korean ally.

The Security Council has adopted six increasingly tougher sanctions resolutions against North Korea.

"The North is apparently trying to test Moon and see how his North Korea policy as well as policy coordination between the South and the USA will take shape", said Yang Moo-Jin, professor at the University of North Korea Studies in Seoul.

He said South Korea will respond to provocations.

Sunday's launch, at 5:27 a.m. Seoul time (4:27 p.m. ET), came two weeks after North Korea fired a missile that disintegrated minutes into flight, marking its fourth consecutive failure since March.

"Relevant Security Council resolutions have clear rules about North Korea using ballistic missile technology to carry out launches".

The White House says President Donald Trump "cannot imagine that Russia is pleased" with North Korea's latest missile test because the missile landed so close to Russian soil.

"North Korea has been a flagrant menace for far too long".

Meanwhile, a member of South Korea's ruling party attending a major summit in China reportedly told the North Korean delegation directly that they "strongly condemned" the launch.

It's unclear why North Korea would fire a missile so close to Russian Federation.

"If the missile reached a maximum altitude of 2,000 km, chances are high that it is a long-range missile", Chang Young-keun, a missile expert at Korea Aerospace University, told Yonhap News Agency. She says more analysis was needed. Japanese Foreign Minister Fumio Kishida said he and his South Korean counterpart agreed that "dialogue for dialogue's sake with North Korea is meaningless".

Tomomi Inada said it covered a distance of about 700km (435 miles), reaching an altitude of more than 2,000km (1,245 miles) - higher than that reached by an intermediate-range missile North Korea fired in February.

Meanwhile, media outlets have quoted the South Korean Joint Chiefs of Staff as saying on Sunday that Pyongyang had launched an unidentified missile, presumably a ballistic one, in the vicinity of Kusong, North Pyongan Province, which flew about 430 miles and fell in the Sea of Japan.

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 U.N. Security Council resolutions and a serious challenge to global peace and security, according to senior presidential secretary Yoon Young-chan.

His spokesman said: "The president said while South Korea remains open to the possibility of dialogue with North Korea, it is only possible when the North shows a change in attitude".

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe slammed the latest launch as "totally unacceptable" and a "grave threat" to Tokyo.

North Korea's latest launch of a ballistic missile Sunday drew strong criticism from the United States and other nations.

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