North Korea fires unidentified projectile into sea - South Korea military

North Korea fires unidentified projectile into sea - South Korea military

The test launch broke a almost four-month period of relative calm militarily on the divided peninsula, posing a major foreign-policy challenge for the new USA administration.

Japan's Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said that he had secured understanding of US President Donald Trump of the importance of a dialogue with Russian Federation for solving the territorial dispute between Moscow and Tokyo, media reported Monday.

After Abe spoke, Trump, who had been standing behind him, took the microphone and said: "I just want everybody to understand and fully know that the United States of America stands behind Japan, its great ally, 100 percent". Initially he declined to answer reporter's questions on the test, which suggests he wanted to be properly briefed first.

South Korea's military said Pyongyang's launch of ballistic missile was a provocative act in violation of UN Security Council's resolutions, which ban the DPRK from testing any ballistic missile technology.

The missile, which flew some 500 km and reached a height of 550 km before falling into the East Sea, is believed to be an improved version of a projectile observers call Musudan, the South Korean Joint Chiefs of Staff said. According to the South Korean military, the missile was launched at around 07:55 local time (2255 GMT Saturday) from a shooting range located in the country's North Pyongan province. The official, speaking on condition of anonymity, provided no further details on what type of missile it might have been. Below is a photo he took of Trump and Abe reviewing proposed responses to North Korea's test under the moonlight as staffers used their cell phones to make the intelligence recommendations readable.

In South Korea, Acting President and Prime Minister Hwang Kyo-ahn said his country will respond to punish the North for the launch.

The North's state news agency, KCNA, said that a "surface-to-surface medium long-range ballistic missile Pukguksong-2. was successfully test-fired on Sunday". That would be a major step toward its stated goal of developing a nuclear-tipped missile that could target the USA mainland.

At the time, Mr Trump derided the claim in a tweet, saying: "It won't happen".

The launch was the first North Korean ballistic missile test to have occurred during the Trump presidency. "In that sense, the Obama policy hasn't worked", Simmons remarked while pointing out that the missile wasn't developed in the three weeks that Donald Trump has been president.

The meeting was chaired by the top security advisor as President Park Geun-hye was suspended following a December 9 impeachment that was passed in the parliament.

The United States, Japan and South Korea called for U.N. Security Council consultations, a US official told NBC News on Sunday.

North Korea claimed Sunday the anti-missile defense system THAAD and South Korea's "Kill Chain" strategy to destroy and detect missiles will not defend against its projectiles. He made no further comments.

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