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Beijing hits back at Trump criticism over N Korea

02 August 2017

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and US President Donald Trump agreed that more action was needed on North Korea in a call days after the isolated regime test-fired its second intercontinental ballistic missile in a month.

On Sunday, North Korea said it will "respond with firm action" if the USA continues to pursue sanctions against it, according to KCNA, quoting a foreign ministry spokesman.

The mission came a day after North Korea test-fired its second ICBM, with experts saying Pyongyang now has the ability to hit major USA cities. Friday's missile reportedly flew 900 kilometres higher than the first.

Continuing another trend, the US on Saturday sent two B-1 bombers from Andersen Air Force Base in Guam on a 10-hour round trip over the Korean Peninsula in what the US Pacific Air Forces called a direct response to the North Korean missile test. The heavier the payload, the shorter the usual range.

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The July 4 ICBM test was intensifying, unsettling and risky.

In response to the provocative measure by the North, Seoul deployed four additional units of US THAAD anti-missile defence system at its eastern coast.

"We don't know the mass of the payload used in the test; if a real warhead is significantly heavier, that would reduce the range the missile could reach", David Wright told CNN.

Earlier in July, the US led its first THAAD test against a long-go transitional range ballistic rocket like the sorts being tried in North Korea.

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"North Korea remains the most urgent threat to regional stability", said Air Force Gen.

Earlier in the week, a U.S. official told CNN the United States believed that North Korea would be able to launch a reliable nuclear-capable intercontinental ballistic missile by early 2018. Pyongyang is determined to develop its nuclear and missile program and does not care about military threats from the US and South Korea.

U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley tweeted on Sunday morning about the administration's wish for China and other nations to put pressure on Pyongyang.

"It is my assessment that China will not deter North Korea unless the United States exacts greater economic pressure on China", Schumer wrote to Trump, a Republican.

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Beijing hits back at Trump criticism over N Korea