Release date: 2017/4/29
South Korea and the United States said North Korea tested a ballistic missile on Saturday, defying warnings from the United States and China, its main ally, which has been trying for years to curb its weapons programs.
US and South Korean officials said the test, conducted from a region north of the North Korean capital Pyongyang, appeared to have failed in what would be the fourth unsuccessful North Korean test to launch rockets since March.
The missile test came just hours after US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson warned the UN Security Council that failure to curb North Korea's nuclear and missile programs could lead to "catastrophic consequences."
US officials, speaking on condition of anonymity, said the medium-range missile, known as the KN-17, was likely to have crashed within minutes of its launch.
South Korea said North Korea was playing with fire and warned of tougher sanctions by the United Nations.
The South Korean military said the rocket, launched from the Baucchang region, had reached a height of 71 kilometers before breaking down a few minutes after it was launched.
President Donald Trump said North Korea was his biggest challenge and that the experience was an insult to China.
"North Korea did not respect China's wishes and its highly respected president when he fired a missile today, even though it did not do anything bad," Trump said in a tug-of-war on North Korea.
A US official hinted at the possibility of new unilateral US sanctions on North Korea "it is possible and something that can be accelerated."
The administration of President Donald Trump is particularly concerned about Pyongyang's activity to develop a missile with a nuclear warhead capable of striking the United States.
Washington is also closely following the possibility that North Korea will conduct a sixth nuclear test.
In Tokyo, Japan condemned North Korea's experience as totally unacceptable and in breach of United Nations resolutions.
In Seoul, a spokesman for South Korea's top candidate for the presidential election, Moon Jae-moon, said Moon regarded North Korea's latest attempt to launch a missile on Saturday as "futile training."
"This is the way to save himself, not a way to destroy himself," he said.