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World Power: North Korean Ballistic Missile Fired Into Japan Sea

North Korea has test-fired a medium-range ballistic missile from its eastern port of Sinpo into the Sea of Japan.

South Korea’s defence ministry said the missile flew about 60km (40 miles).

It is the latest in a series of tests which the North says is peaceful but is widely believed to be part of a programme to develop nuclear weapons.

The launch comes on the eve of a visit by China’s President Xi Jinping to the US to meet President Donald Trump.

The two will discuss how to rein in North Korea’s nuclear and missile programmes.

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The North is banned from any missile or nuclear tests by the UN, though has repeatedly broken those sanctions.

US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson described the launch as “yet another” intermediate range ballistic missile, adding: “The United States has spoken enough about North Korea. We have no further comment.”

The US military’s Pacific Command said it appeared to have been a KN-15 medium-range ballistic missile.


“The North American Aerospace Defense Command (Norad) determined the missile launch from North Korea did not pose a threat to North America,” it said.

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Japan called the launch “provocative”, while South Korea condemned it as “a blunt challenge” to the UN and “a threat to the peace and safety of the international community as well as the Korean peninsula”.

Last month, North Korea fired four ballistic missiles towards the Sea of Japan from the Tongchang-ri region, near the border with China.

Japanese PM Shinzo Abe called it a “new stage of threat”.

North Korean media image of missile launch (April 2017)Image copyrightEPA
Image captionNorth Korea has repeatedly carried out missile tests in recent months

Last week, the US Treasury slapped sanctions on 11 North Korean business representatives and one company.

On Tuesday US politicians overwhelmingly backed a bill relisting the North as a state sponsor of terror.

North Korea responded by warning that it will retaliate if the international community steps up sanctions, saying the US was forcing the situation “to the brink of war”.

NK missile ranges

Donald Trump warned in a recent interview that the US is willing to tackle North Korea alone if China does not help rein its troublesome neighbour in.

China has long been North Korea’s closest diplomatic ally and trading partner, but the relationship has become increasingly strained over Pyongyang’s refusal to halt nuclear and missile testing.

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