North Korea Launches Missile Ahead of US-China Summit
Latest medium-range launch seen as a provocation
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 5, 2017 1:03 AM CDT
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Visitors watch a report about North Korea's missile firing in Seoul, South Korea, on Wednesday.   (AP Photo/Lee Jin-man)
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(Newser) – North Korea may have just moved up the agenda at President Trump's first meeting with China's President Xi Jinping: In what is seen as a provocation ahead of the US-China summit later this week, North Korea test-fired a ballistic missile into the sea Wednesday morning in defiance of UN Security Council resolutions, Reuters reports. US and South Korean officials believe the missile, like one fired in February, was a KN-15 medium-range missile, a type of missile more mobile, easier to launch, and harder to detect than other missiles in Pyongyang's arsenal, the AP reports. The one fired in February traveled 310 miles, but this one only flew around 37 miles, suggesting the test may not have been a complete success.

North Korea's missile and nuclear weapons program was already expected to be a main focus of the talks between Xi and Trump, who recently said the US can deal with the problem alone if China is unwilling to help. "The launch took place possibly in consideration of the US-China summit, while at the same time it was to check its missile capability," a South Korean official tells Reuters. Japan condemned the latest launch as "extremely problematic," while Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said: "The United States has spoken enough about North Korea. We have no further comment." (This week, a North Korean defector had an ominous warning about Kim Jong Un's state of mind.)

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