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North Korea fires unidentified projectile from test site

15 May 2017

South Korean President Moon Jae-in held his first National Security Council in response to the launch, which he called a "clear violation" of UN Security Council resolutions, his office said.

US officials said they were still assessing whether the launch was successful and trying to determine what kind of missile was tested.

The launch of the as yet unidentified missile could signal advances over known North Korean capabilities, adding to tensions in the region as the Trump administration seeks to prevent Pyongyang from developing an intercontinental ballistic missile capable of reaching the USA mainland.

U.S. President Donald Trump said earlier this month he would be "honored" to meet with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un "under the right circumstances", but Haley said that "having a missile test is not the way to sit down with the president, because he's absolutely not going to do it".

The launch also comes as troops from the U.S., Japan and two European nations gather on remote U.S. islands in the Pacific for drills that are partly a message to North Korea.

On the respected 38 North website, aerospace engineering specialist John Schilling said it appeared to demonstrate an intermediate-range ballistic missile that could "reliably strike the United States base at Guam" in the Pacific.

Though tensions between the United States and North Korea have been higher than usual over the past few months, a senior North Korean diplomat told Yonhap News Agency on Saturday that Pyongyang is open to talks with Washington "under the right conditions".

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"With the missile impacting so close to Russian soil - in fact, closer to Russia than to Japan - the President can not imagine that Russia is pleased", the White House said.

The White House has applied more pressure on Beijing in recent weeks to take a harder stand with the regime of Kim Jong Un to curb his ballistic missile and nuclear programs.

Outside militaries and experts will closely analyze what the North fired.

"North Korea has been a flagrant menace for far too long".

North Korea's official Korean Central News Agency called the missile a "new ground-to-ground medium long-range strategic ballistic rocket Hwasong-12" that's "capable of carrying a large-size heavy nuclear warhead".

The statement says the USA maintains its "ironclad commitment" to stand with its allies in the face of the serious threat posed by North Korea. The latest "provocation" should serve as a call for all nations to implement far stronger sanctions against the North, it said.

"As South Korea's diplomatic situation matures, North Korea should also show a more mature attitude, not a childish one, and contribute to (establishing a better) diplomatic relationship", said Jin Hyo-seon, 33, a painter.

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The Russian Ministry of Defense said that its missile defense systems tracked the North Korean missile for 23 minutes before it fell about 310 miles from the Russian coast.

The missile flew more than 435 miles before splashing into waters early Sunday between Japan and the Korean Peninsula.

He says there are no reports indicating there was any safety impact on aircraft and ship transport.

Analysts were working to identify the kind of missile launched. Yesterday's launch came from a site near the city.

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe told reporters Sunday that the launch, which is banned by the United Nations, is "absolutely unacceptable" and that Japan will respond resolutely.

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

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North Korea fires unidentified projectile from test site