North Korea Launches Ballistic Missile Test

The South Korean military believes the North launched a missile to demonstrate its military power and see how the new US administration of President Donald Trump responds, Yohnap said.

The specific timing of this latest test has been noted, as it coincides with Japanese prime minister Shinzo Abe's USA visit with President Trump.

The missile was launched at 07:55 local time (11:25 GMT) on Sunday from a military airbase in North Korea's North Pyongan Province.

North Korea on Sunday fired a medium-range ballistic missile into the East Sea in an apparent provocation to boast its military readiness and test the response from the new Donald Trump administration, the South Korean military said.

"I just want everybody to understand and fully know that the United States of America stands behind Japan, its great ally, 100 percent", Trump said.

As it is now clear that the Trump administration is maintaining a hardline approach, it is no surprise that Pyongyang is "going back to its old playbook" of using missile provocations to see if the USA would respond to its demands, said research fellow Go Myong Hyun of The Asan Institute for Policy Studies.

North Korea has not yet confirmed the missile test.

"It is aimed at drawing attention from the global community, and showing off its nuclear and missile capabilities in protest against the new USA government", said South Korea's Joint Chiefs of Staff (JCS).

North Korea strongly opposes the exercises and has said they are a ruse by the U.S.

"We can confirm that we did detect a missile launch fromNorth Korea", the official said, speaking on condition of anonymity.

North Korea is barred under United Nations resolutions from any use of ballistic missile technology but six sets of United Nations sanctions since Pyongyang´s first nuclear test in 2006 have failed to halt its drive for what it insists are defensive weapons.

South Korea´s acting president Hwang Gyo-Ahn vowed a "corresponding punishment" in response, while Japan´s top government spokesman Yoshihide Suge called the launch "absolutely intolerable".

Inada told reporters that her ministry will make every effort to find out more about the launch as well as conduct surveillance and warning activities.

North Korea has repeatedly claimed it was close to developing an intercontinental ballistic missile able to carry a nuclear warhead as far as the West Coast of the US. South Korea said Pyongyang was testing Trump.

Pyongyang's lack of serious missile test in November, December, and January suggested that it may have been waiting for the Trump administration to enter office and possibly revisit the Obama administration's North Korea policy. They have never successfully tested an ICBM.

  • Tracy Ferguson