Trump to Abe: US to boost military defense against NKorea

Secretary of State Rex Tillerson attends the press conference

U.S. President Donald Trump told Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe in telephone talks Thursday that the United States considers all options are on the table in dealing with North Korea, according to the Japanese leader.

"Japan is closely watching what measures China might take in response to North Korean problems", Abe told reporters after the call, breaking with his typical protocol of not commenting on summits between other leaders.

The missile was sacked at a high angle and reached an altitude of 189 km (117 miles), the official said.

Tillerson's statement, in full, reads: "North Korea launched yet another intermediate range ballistic missile".

This year, North Korea officials, including young leader Kim Jong Un, have repeatedly indicated an ICBM test, or something similar, could be coming, possibly as soon as April 15, the 105th birthday of North Korea's founding president and celebrated annually as "the Day of the Sun". "China summit, while at the same time it was to check its missile capability", a South Korean official said.

USA officials said the missile launched on Wednesday appeared to be a liquid-fuelled, extended-range Scud missile that only travelled a fraction of its range before spinning out of control. US officials confirm an object in orbit, but no signal is detected.

China is North Korea's sole major diplomatic friend and a key trading partner that supplies the isolated state with much of its hard currency in the face of stringent global sanctions.

United States officials are hoping the Chinese leaders will convince their ally - through sanctions or diplomacy - to back off.

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South Korea's foreign ministry strongly condemned the launch, which it said represented a "threat to peace and stability of the whole world".

U.S. Pacific Command said the North had fired a KN-15 medium range ballistic missile from a land-based facility near Sinpo on the DPRK's east coast.

North Korea has been accused of violating the UN Security Council resolutions and of creating a "grave threat to worldwide peace and security in the region and beyond".

North Korea often responds to the drills with its own military training and harsh rhetoric.

Satellite images of the country indicate North Korea is preparing for a large-scale parade at Mirim Airport in Pyongyang, the report stated.

"North Korea just stated that it is in the final stages of developing a nuclear weapon capable of reaching parts of the U.S. It won't happen!"

In the second test on March 6, four Scud-ER missiles were fired, three of which fell into Japan's exclusive economic zone.

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