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North Korea test-fires ballistic missile in defiance of world pressure

The test, from an area north of the North Korean capital, Pyongyang, appeared to have failed, US and South Korean officials said, in what would be North Korea's fourth successive unsuccessful missile test since March.

North Korea's previous missile launch was on April 16, the day after huge military parade in Pyongyang to celebrate the anniversary of the birth of founder Kim Il Sung. North Korea may already be able to strike its USA -allied neighbors with a nuclear-tipped missile, and could have the US mainland within range by the end of President Donald Trump's first term.

China's foreign ministry on Friday refused to confirm or deny Tillerson's assertion "that if they did conduct further nuclear tests, China would be taking sanctions actions on their own".

On Friday, US President Donald Trump said in an interview with the Washington Times that South Korea should pay for the defense system, which costs $1 billion.

Analysts say the KN-17 is a new Scud-type missile developed by North Korea.

Tillerson will have separate meetings Friday with British Foreign Secretary Johnson, Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi, and U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres.

It would mark the USS Carl Vinson's second operation in South Korean waters in less than two months amid heightened military tensions in Korea.

South Korean and United States forces have been conducting annual military drills since the beginning of March that conclude at the end of April.




"If both sides fail to make such necessary concessions, then not only will the two countries, but the whole region and the whole world end up paying a heavy price for a possible confrontation".

Tillerson said that any countries that do not comply with the United Nations Security Council sanctions on North Korea must stop, because the catastrophic effects of North Korea using a nuclear weapon far outweigh any economic benefits.

South Korean and USA intelligence officials are trying to determine the type of missile used by North Korea for this launch.

Trump said and he praised Chinese leader Xi Jinping for "trying very hard" to rein it in. While shorter-range missiles are somewhat routine, there is strong outside worry about each longer-range North Korean ballistic test. The latest test came as USA officials pivoted from a hard line to diplomacy at the U.N.in an effort to address what may be Washington's most pressing foreign policy challenge.

"Something that's ready to go could be taken from the larger package and expedited", said the official, who declined to be identified.

He urged the United Nations to enforce the existing sanctions on North Korea, suspend or downgrade diplomatic relations and increase its financial isolation by targeting countries and individuals that support the Pyongyang's nuclear and ballistic missile program. The Security Council traditionally condemns all missile launches by Pyongyang. DPRK stands for the Democratic People's Republic of Korea, North Korea's official name.

The South Korean politician expected to win a May 9 presidential election, Moon Jae-in, called the test an "exercise in futility".

'There is a vital role for China and Russian Federation, both of whom are neighbours of North Korea with influence on Pyongyang, and as permanent members of this council, a special responsibility they have for preserving global peace and security.

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