North Korea Fires Missile Into East Sea Ahead Of US-China Talks

Cheryl Sanders
April 5, 2017

Even before news of the latest missile test became public, a senior United States official echoed that message, saying "the clock has now run out" on dealing with the North Korean threat and "all options are on the table for us".

But concerns about the upcoming China-U.S. summit capped the dollar's upside, as well as rising speculation that U.S. President Donald Trump will face challenges implementing his promised policies in the wake of his administration's failure to pass healthcare reform. Keane, who was Trump's first choice as defense secretary, told the Times of London yesterday that the United States was "rapidly and dangerously" edging closer to taking military action against North Korea's nuclear missile program. The United States has spoken enough about North Korea. "We have no further comment", he said in a statement.

Trump, in an interview with the Financial Times this week, said, "China will either decide to help us with North Korea, or they won't".

The initial US and South Korean assessments indicated it was a KN-15 medium-range missile, whose first publicly known test in February was considered by many foreign experts as a potentially worrying development.

The US Pacific Command said it detected and tracked what it assessed as a North Korean missile launched from land near the eastern city of Sinpo.

Two weeks ago the South Korean and United States militaries said they had detected a failed North Korean ballistic missile launch.

North Korea has denied using big worldwide events to get outside attention in order to wrest concessions and aid.

"The risk is that the Chinese see President Trump as very transactional by nature and they would be all too happy to say, 'OK tell us what you want us to buy of yours, ' rather than focus on the fundamental changes they need to make to their economy", said Michael Froman, the former US Trade Representative under President Barack Obama.

The North has fired missiles when South Korea hosted the 2010 Group of 20 summit and other events, and while top USA officials were traveling in the region.

Japan's Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has warned further provocative action from North Korea is possible in the near future as the isolated nation shows no signs of abating in their mission for full nuclear capability.

Last night, a senior-level White House official said that Trump and Xi discussed how to deal with North Korea.

Trump and his top advisers have ratcheted up their pronouncements on the issue, warning that the window to stop North Korea is quickly vanishing.

North Korea is pushing hard to upgrade its weapons systems to cope with what it calls USA hostility. So, even though we hear sometimes that China's political influence may have diminished with North Korea, clearly its economic leverage has not.

Twenty four hours of meetings between President Trump and China President Xi Jinping begin tomorrow at Trump's Mar-a-Lago resort in Palm Beach.

When North Korea test-fired this missile in February, South Korean officials said it flew about 500 kilometers (310 miles) before landing in global waters.

"I've joked before that they don't mind being hated but they definitely hate to be ignored", he said.

- December 1, 2012: North Korea says it will launch a working satellite, the Kwangmyongsong-3, on the carrier rocket Unha-3, between December 10 and 22.

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