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31 May 2017, 06:25 | Grady King
S.Korea military: North Korea fires unidentified projectile
This theory appeared to be confirmed on Tuesday, as North Korean media reported its leader Kim Jong-un had watched the test "through a precision control guidance system" a day earlier.
The test follows yet another successful North Korean launch Monday - the third in three weeks - where a missile flew for six minutes and landed in the Sea of Japan.
"Conducting ballistic missile launches three weeks in a row is an overt defiance of the global community", Foreign Minister Fumio Kishida told reporters at the ministry's office on Monday morning, condemning North Korea.
On May 14, the test missile by Pyongyang reportedly reached an altitude of more than 2,100 kilometers (1,300 miles).
Following North Korea's test-firing of what analysts said was its longest-range rocket yet earlier this month, the UN Security Council vowed to push all countries to tighten sanctions against Pyongyang.
In recent weeks the U.S. has sent a fleet of warships into North Korean waters, and brought several new launchers for a defense missile system to South Korea to cope with any nuclear threat north of the border.
North Korea weighed in on Thaad in a separate KCNA commentary, saying the "evil" system would be useless at intercepting missiles and only make South Koreans more vulnerable.
Such launches, and two nuclear tests since January 2016, have been conducted in defiance of US pressure, United Nations resolutions and the threat of more sanctions.
April 5: North Korea fires a missile on the eve of a meeting between Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping. The North has developed a working liquid-fueled intermediate-range ballistic missile, a solid-fueled mid-range missile, and a precision short-range Scud variant.
Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe told reporters that "North Korea's provocation by ignoring repeated warnings from the global society is absolutely unacceptable". The Minuteman III missile launch lit up the night sky and soared about 4,200 miles to a test range near the Kwajalein Atoll in the Marshall Islands.
South Korea said it looks like North Korea plans to go ahead with its nuclear weapons and missiles programs, no matter what the rest of the world thinks.
The ground-based interceptor being tested Tuesday is different from the Terminal High Altitude Area Defense system deployed in South Korea, which is created to intercept missiles at a lower altitude in their terminal stage.
In a Monday tweet, President Donald Trump joined the leaders of South Korea and Japan in condemning the test, saying that North Korea had "shown great disrespect" for China by "shooting off yet another ballistic missile". First he sought the help of President Xi-Jinping of China, North Korea's top ally in Asia. "It's much easier to launch a missile than it is to shoot one down".
Yachi and Yang also exchanged views on the situation in the East China Sea and the South China Sea.
"Initial indications are that the test met its primary objective, but program officials will continue to evaluate system performance based upon telemetry and other data obtained during the test", his statement said.
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