North Korea's missile and nuclear tests

Apr 10, 2017, 00:58

South Korea has been developing ballistic missiles with an 800-kilometer range since 2012, the joint chiefs of staff spokesman said.

With the Mar-a-Lago summit between Donald Trump and Xi Jinping only a day away, North Korea decided that now would be the flawless time to carry out yet another ballistic missile test.

"It's prudent to do it, isn't it?"

With a limited but decisive response to Syrian President Bashar Assad's alleged use of banned sarin nerve gas on Syrian civilians, Trump won plaudits from previously skeptical USA allies in Europe, as well as from some of his harshest critics at home.

"We will bolster up in every way our capability for self-defense to cope with the USA evermore reckless moves for a war and defend ourselves with our own force", it said.

General McMaster said North Korea was "a rogue regimen that is now a nuclear capable regimen" and at the Florida talks "President Xi and President Trump agreed that that is unacceptable, that what must happen is the denuclearisation of the Korean Peninsula".

While China has clearly lost patience with Pyongyang's nuclear provocations, it is extremely wary of any response that might bring about North Korea's collapse and chaos on its doorstep.

China is North Korea's economic bedrock, accounting for more than 80% of its smaller neighbor's foreign trade.

Every North Korean nuclear test and missile launch reminds the United States and its allies of the limited options they have on Pyongyang's nuclear ambitions.

North Korea is pushing hard to upgrade its weapons systems to cope with what it calls USA hostility.

"North Korea launched yet another intermediate range ballistic missile", he said.

Anthony Ruggiero, a senior fellow at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies, suggests the USA government could shake things up by fining a Chinese bank for helping North Korea avoid sanctions.

"We've been over-prescribing sanctions on the North Korean regime to the point where it has become a superbug", said John Park, director of the Korea Working Group at the Harvard Kennedy School.

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un inspects the construction site of Ryomyong Street, in this undated photo released by North Korea's Korean Central News Agency. Or was the launch just part of its broader missile development programs, with outsiders reading too much from a routine weapons test?

One senior U.S. administration official warned that the "clock has now run out" on Pyongyangm and Donald Trump described the country as a 'humanity problem'. North Korea's state media has also said the world will soon witness what it calls "eventful successes" the country achieves in the space development. North Korea sees the drills as an invasion rehearsal.

North Korea also exports other commodities, and basic goods such as iron ore, seafood and clothing, to China.

Defence Minister Marise Payne said on Sunday that the United States was keeping Australia informed of developments and had not asked for additional resources, as she again urged Russian Federation to work with the Assad regimen to find a solution to the endless conflict.

The State Department issued a terse statement from America's top diplomat acknowledging "yet another" launch and saying "We have no further comment". The regime celebrates the 105th birthday of founding President Kim Il Sung on April 15 and the 85th anniversary of the foundation of the Korean People's Army 10 days later.

The White House says the call took place on Saturday.