South Korea Test Fires 800 Kilometre-Range Missile

North Korea's Kim Nong-gum battles Myrthe Martens of the Netherlands for the puck at the International Ice Hockey Federation Women's World Championship Division II Group A at Kwandong Hockey Centre in Gangneung Gangwon Province on April 3

South Korea and the USA confirm North Korea launched a single ballistic missile at a facility near Sinpo at 6:42 a.m. Wednesday Seoul time (5:42 p.m. Tuesday ET).

Hyten disclosed Tuesday that North Korea's February 11 missile test demonstrated new capabilities, saying it "was a very important date because that's the date the North Koreans launched a new solid" fuel medium-range ballistic missile off a new mobile launcher.

The United States and South Korea agreed on Thursday to proceed with the deployment of an advanced USA missile defence system that has angered China, a day after North Korea's latest test launch drew condemnation across the volatile region. "We have no further comment", he said in a statement. The launch also came amid ongoing annual South Korea-U.S. military drills that North Korea usually responds to with its own military training and missile tests.

The launch was North Korea's latest in a long series of missile and nuclear tests that have accelerated in their variation and intensity over the last two years. Another missile test later in March was apparently unsuccessful.

Last August Pyongyang also successfully test-fired a submarine-launched ballistic missile 500 kilometres towards Japan, far exceeding any previous sub-launched tests, in what the North's leader Kim Jong-Un hailed as the "greatest success".

The North is believed to be developing an intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) that could hit the United States and its leader, Kim Jong Un, has vowed to test-launch one at any time.

"If we push the button, the bombs will be fired and reduce the U.S.to ashes", an editorial in the ruling Workers' Party newspaper the Rodong Sinmun said on Wednesday.

A press release "is not going to prompt them to fire off more missiles", he said.

Hyten labeled the launch of the KN-11 missile as "a major advancement" by North Korea because it was "a new solid medium range ballistic missile off a new transporter erector launcher".

They said it flew about 60km from its launch site near Sinpo, a port city on the North's east coast where a submarine base is located.

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US officials have not identified what type of missile was tested on March 21 since it exploded so soon after launch.

The latest launch came after President Donald Trump threatened the USA was prepared to go it alone in bringing the North to heel if China did not step in.

The latest launch came after President Donald Trump threatened the U.S. was prepared to go it alone in bringing the North to heel if China did not step in, and ahead of a meeting with his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping.

Tensions between the United States and North Korea continue to escalate as U.S. officials consider the best way forward.

South Korea's Joint Chiefs of Staff issued a similar assessment, saying the missile flew about 60 kilometers (37 miles).

Trump has said China must do more to pressure North Korea to halt its nuclear program.

South Korea's National Security Council (NSC) convened an emergency meeting to discuss the missile test, according to the Yonhap news agency.

"But it's very hard to see how you break with Obama and Bush policy on North Korea without making things a lot more unsafe", he added.

The launch came amid worries that North Korea might soon conduct banned nuclear or long-range rocket tests.

Trump has repeatedly said he wants China to do more to exert its economic influence over its unpredictable ally in Pyongyang to restrain its nuclear and missile programmes, but China denies it has any overriding influence on North Korea. Washington, however, issued a terse statement, prompting North Korea analysts to speculate about what could have been behind Washington's unusual restraint.

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