Trump calls for tougher sanctions after N Korea missile test

Cheryl Sanders
May 15, 2017

But Nikki Haley, the USA ambassador to the United Nations, told ABC's "This Week" on Sunday that "having a missile test is not the way to sit down with the president, because he's absolutely not going to do it".

Some experts, including officials in Tokyo, estimate that Sunday's launch successfully tested a new type of missile in Pyongyang's arsenal.

On Saturday, a top North Korean diplomat said it was open to dialogue with the Trump administration under the right conditions.

Japan said the latest missile reached an altitude of more than 2,000 km (1,245 miles) and flew for 30 minutes before dropping into the sea between North Korea's east coast and Japan.

South Korea, Japan and the U.S. swiftly condemned the launch, which jeopardises new South Korean leader Moon Jae-in's willingness for dialogue with the rival North.

It represented a more significant threat because of the difficulty of tracking a mobile launcher and because of the ability to keep the missile fueled in advance, unlike liquid fuel rockets.

Haley emphasized the need for a "strong unified message" and said the determined to "take care of South Korea".

Both Moon and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe immediately condemned the launch, with Moon expressing "deep regret" that it occurred shortly after the new government was sworn in.

The test firing, against a backdrop of rising tensions on the Korean peninsula, came four days after South Korea's new president, Moon Jae-in, took office.

North Korea is believed to be developing an intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) capable of carrying a nuclear warhead and reaching the mainland United States.

South Korean and US military officials said the February launch was a significant development as it successfully tested a solid-fuel engine from a mobile launcher.

The launch was also aimed at "maximising the North's political leverage" ahead of possible negotiations with the United States, as Pyongyang and Washington both recently signalled they were open to talks, he added.

Speaking on the sidelines of the Belt and Road Forum Sunday, Guan Jianxing, 22, a native of Dandong on the border with North Korea, said she was "very anxious about the situation".

Bonnie Glaser, an Asia expert at the Center for Strategic and International Studies think tank in Washington, said among the responses expected from the Trump administration would be further pressure on all countries to fully implement U.N. Security Council sanctions resolutions against North Korea.

The estimated range of the North's Musudan missile is about 3,000 kilometers (1,865 miles), Wright said.

While Pyongyang regularly tests shorter-range missiles, it is also working to master the technology needed to field nuclear-tipped missiles that can reach the United States mainland.

South Korea's Joint Chiefs of Staff said that the "unidentified missile" was sacked shortly after 5 a.m. The United States maintains our ironclad commitment to stand with our allies in the face of the serious threat posed by North Korea.

"Despite strong warning from the worldwide community, North Korea launched a ballistic missile again", Abe said. North Korea has consistently test-fired missiles in that direction.

Haley added that the United States will "continue to tighten the screws", referring to sanctions and working with the global community to put pressure on Pyongyang. "The ballistic target had been dwelled by the missile attack warning systems during a 23-minute flight before the missile fell in the central part of the Sea of Japan (some 500 kilometers [310 miles] from the Russian territory)", the statement said.

Yoon quoted Moon as saying South Korea is "leaving open the possibility of dialogue with North Korea, but we should sternly deal with a provocation to prevent North Korea from miscalculating".

Before Sunday, North Korea had attempted at least nine missile launches on six occasions since US President Donald Trump was inaugurated in January.

Other reports by iNewsToday