North Korea 'disrespected' China by missile test


North Korea conducted yet another weapons test Monday (its third missile launch in as many weeks), successfully firing a short-range ballistic missile into Japan's exclusive economic waters in open defiance of United Nations sanctions and growing global pressure from the U.S., China, Japan, and others.

The missile, reportedly a Scud-class ballistic missile, launched from the coastal town of Wonsan flew about 450 km (280 miles), South Korean officials said.

While North Korea continues to launch missiles, it has not conducted a nuclear test so far this year, which would likely result in a stronger response from the USA and perhaps even its ally, China.

Japan's chief cabinet secretary Yoshihide Suga told reporters that the missile landed in an area between Japan's Sado and Oki islands, in their exclusive economic zone.

The US Pacific Command said it tracked what appeared to be a short-range ballistic missile for six minutes and assessed it did not pose a threat to North America.

Japanese Prime Minster Shinzo Abe "the issue of North Korea is a top priority for the worldwide community".

South Korea's Moon swiftly called a meeting of the National Security Council, South Korea's Office of the Joint Chiefs of Staff said in a statement.

"That the North repeated such provocations after the inauguration of our new a direct challenge to our demand for peace and denuclearization of the Korean peninsula", the foreign ministry said.

Many analysts say Mr. Moon will probably not push for any major rapprochement projects because North Korea has gone too far on its nuclear program.

Seoul recently said it will allow a civic group to contact North Korea about helping them treat malaria, which marks the first government-approved cross-border civilian exchange since January 2016.

President Donald Trump on Monday called North Korea's latest missile test a slap in the face for its main ally China, which the USA leader praised for trying to rein in the regime. "We have strongly protested to North Korea and condemn its actions in the strongest terms".

The latest comes after the country claimed its leader, Kim Jong Un, oversaw a successful test of a new anti-aircraft system this past weekend.

Since the beginning of this year, North Korea has boasted advanced missile capability by firing a total of nine missiles with diverse capabilities in engine and range.

The US has said it is willing to enter into talks with North Korea, but only if it halts its missile and nuclear tests.

This past weekend, the leaders of the G-7 (Group of Seven) member nations - including the United States - agreed North Korea "increasingly poses new levels of threat of a grave nature to worldwide peace and stability". In the event of war, they would bring danger to China and to Russian Federation as well. It wasn't clear from the report when the test happened. It has a strong arsenal of short- and medium-range missiles and is working to flawless its longer-range missiles.

Given that there were no Scud-type missiles being deployed at the Wonsan launch site, some analysts suggested that the launched missile could be a revised version of a Scud-type missile targeting United States aircraft carriers deployed near the peninsula.