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North Korea conducts yet another ballistic missile test

29 May 2017

North Korea fired at least one short-range ballistic missile on Monday that landed in the sea off its east coast, the latest in a fast-paced series of missile tests defying world pressure and threats of more sanctions.

Kim Jong-un's regime may have deliberately fired it towards waters that are claimed by both Japan and South Korea to foment discord between the nations and undermine cooperation with the USA, according to Jeffrey Lewis, director of the East Asia Nonproliferation Programme at the Middlebury Institute of International Studies in Monterey, California.

South Korea says the DPRK has conducted nine ballistic missile tests this year, including one in which four missiles were launched on the same day.

President Donald Trump has alternated between bellicosity and flattery in his public statements about North Korea, but his administration is still working to solidify a policy to handle its nuclear ambitions.

Japan lodged a protest against the test missile, which appeared to have landed in its exclusive economic zone.

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Moon says sanctions alone have failed to resolve the growing threat from the North's advancing nuclear and missile program.

North Korea launches a mid-range ballistic missile in this undated file photo.

Despite global sanctions, North Korea's capabilities continue to grow.

President Donald Trump on Monday called North Korea's latest missile test a slap in the face for its main ally China, which the U.S. leader praised for trying to rein in the regime.

Following North Korea's test-firing earlier this month of what analysts said was its longest-range rocket yet, the UN Security Council vowed to push all countries to tighten sanctions against Pyongyang.

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The Chinese foreign ministry urged Pyongyang to refrain from activities that go against UNSC resolutions. "It flew at an apogee of some 120 km".

Moon called a National Security Council meeting Monday morning to discuss the North's launch. "We Europeans must really take our fate into our own hands - of course in friendship with the United States of America, in friendship with Great Britain, and as good neighbors wherever that is possible also with other countries, even with Russian Federation".

On Sunday, North Korea also said leader Kim Jong Un had watched a separate, successful test of a new type of anti-aircraft guided weapon system.

On Tuesday the U.S. Military will attempt to shoot down an intercontinental ballistic missile for the first time.

However, experts say it may be trying to test new capabilities that may be fed into its efforts to build an ICBM. Outside analysts believe North Korea may be able to arm some of its shorter-range missiles with nuclear warheads, though the exact state of the North's secretive weapons program is unknown.

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Kim found that the weapon system's ability to detect and track targets had "remarkably" improved and was more accurate, according to the official Korean Central News Agency.

North Korea conducts yet another ballistic missile test