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North Korea tests ballistic missile

14 May 2017

North Korea's past long-range satellite launches have been called clandestine tests of intercontinental ballistic missile technology, but it is not believed to have tested such a missile yet.

The reported altitude would indicate the missile was launched at a high trajectory. Other reports claim the missile traveled 500 miles.

Kim Dong-yub, of Kyungnam University's Institute of Far Eastern Studies in Seoul, said he estimated a standard trajectory would give it a range of 6,000 km.

U.S. Strategic Command said they were "presumed" to be Musudans, which are technically capable of flying as far as 2,400 miles, putting Guam within range and nearly reaching Alaska.

"It is definitely concerning", McDowell said.

National security adviser H.R. McMaster briefed the President by phone on Saturday about the missile launch, a senior White House official said.

Japan also lodged protest to North Korea over the missile launch through the Japanese Embassy in Beijing.

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In Beijing, Chinese President Xi Jinping told his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin that their countries are both playing an "important role as a balancing power" in world affairs by seeking a peaceful way out for of the crises in Syria and the Korean Peninsula.

Moon Jae-in, South Korea's new liberal President, says dialogue with Pyongyang will become impossible if it keeps acting provocatively.

Moon has even said he does not rule out a visit to North Korea in an attempt to settle the nuclear issue.

Earlier in the day, Pyongyang fired a missile from the northwestern city of Kusong.

China's foreign ministry has expressed opposition to North Korea's test-launch of a ballistic missile and called on all sides to exercise restraint.

China after the test called for restraint by all parties.

North Korea has been testing missiles at a rapid rate over the past year, apparently working toward leader Kim Jong Un's ambition to develop an ICBM that can reach the United States.

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The missile was sacked early on Sunday from a region named Kusong located northwest of Pyongyang, where the North previously test-launched an intermediate-range missile it is believed to be developing, the last time in February.

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said repeated missile tests by Pyongyang pose a grave threat to the region.

The latest test - the seventh this year - came a day after senior North Korean official Choi Sun-hee said her government would be willing to start talks with the U.S. "if the conditions are set". Some of those missiles reached the Sea of Japan, also known as the East Sea.

The previous missile launch from this territory was carried out in February.

North Korea has previously attempted at least nine missile launches on six occasions since US President Donald Trump was inaugurated in January.

"That is considerably longer than the estimated range of the Musudan missile, which showed a range of about 3,000 km in a test a year ago", he said.

In an interview in April with Reuters, President Trump warned that a "major, major conflict" with North Korea was possible, but said he would prefer a diplomatic resolution to the issue of North Korea's nuclear and missile programs.

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Before the missile test, the US Treasury said it was considering "every tool in our arsenal" to cut off sources of worldwide financing for illegal activities in the North. Trump has threatened military action but recently appeared to have softened his stance, saying he would be "honoured" to meet leader Kim Jong-Un under the right conditions.