North Korea missile test draws ire of US, Japan, South Korea

North Korea missile test draws ire of US, Japan, South Korea

North Korea missile test draws ire of US, Japan, South Korea

North Korea test-fired a medium-range ballistic missile early Sunday into the East Sea in a "show of force", according to South Korea's military. "The North Korean leader likes to draw attention at times like this". An official from Seoul's Defense Ministry says it isn't clear whether the projectile was a ballistic missile.

Defending against North Korea's missile and nuclear threat is "a very, very high priority", Trump said at the time.

The U.S. Strategic Command described it as a "medium range or intermediate range ballistic missile" earlier on Sunday.

The Banghyon base is the same place where North Korea test-fired Musudan missiles on October 15 and 20.

In his New Year's address, North Korean leader Kim Jong Un said his country has reached the final stage of preparing to test-launch the long-range missile.

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Japanese government expressed protest against the missile launch, stressing the unacceptability of the repeated provocations on part of North Korea.

The young leader is planning a "prime time" nuclear weapons push this year to take advantage of a leadership transition in South Korea - where the president has been impeached - and the United States, a high-ranking North Korean defector said recently.

"The missile fired around Panghyon in the city of Kusong is likely to be an improved version of a Musudan missile", South Korea's Office of Joint Chiefs of Staff said in a statement.

Military officials in South Korea and the US were working to determine what kind of missile was launched, according to South Korea's Yonhap News Agency.

The ministry's statement added that the missile flew 500 kilometres before falling into the sea, however, the exact type of missile is yet to be identified.

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"While the launch had the risk of backfiring and agitating President Trump, it's not like the U.S.' military can double or triple its size, or to hire Tony Stark", Cha Du-hyeogn, a former intelligence secretary to South Korean President Lee Myung-bak told NK News. Seoul's military said it was part of armed protest against the new US administration's hard-line stance toward the DPRK. Abe also explained that Trump had assured him that the US would always be with Japan "100 percent" and that Trump was appearing with him to demonstrate that commitment.

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe denounced the North's missile launch as "absolutely intolerable" and urged the communist state to comply with all U.N. Security Council resolutions.

South Korea's Acting President and Prime Minister Hwang Kyo-ahn said that his country is doing its best to give out a "corresponding" response to the test-fire.

North Korean media are often slow to announce such launches, if they announce them at all. Typically, it confirms only successful launches, usually one day after they take place.

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