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Motives for North Korea's latest missile test

09 April 2017

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

A North Korean missile launch on Tuesday was of a liquid-fueled Scud missile which only traveled a fraction of it's range, USA officials said on Wednesday.

The government today condemned the launch of the medium-range ballistic missile by the North Korea into the Sea of Japan.

With mounting fears about North Korea's growing nuclear program, the White House plans to pressure Xi to take a tougher approach with their increasingly aggressive Korean ally. North Korea carried out two nuclear tests past year. The missile, with a range of 800 km is long enough to hit any part of North Korea.

North Korea has stepped up its weapons programme since Kim Jong-un assumed power five years ago, conducting a record number of nuclear and missile tests in 2016, and underscoring his regime's decision to use nuclear deterrence to ensure its survival.

The idea that the United States could deprive North Korea of its "nuclear deterrent" through sanctions is "the wildest dream", it said.

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

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The North's latest launch came as outside satellite imagery show possible preparations for a new nuclear test at the North's main nuclear test site, such as communication cables used to initiate a test and collect data being already laid.

Chang Yong-Seok, a researcher at the Seoul National University's Institute for Peace and Unification Studies, said the missile test was Pyongyang's way of warning China and the US.

This week Trump told the Financial Times, "China will either decide to help us with North Korea, or they won't".

The Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) on Wednesday test-fired one ballistic missile into eastern waters, South Korea's defense ministry said. "We have no further comment", Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said in a statement. While the policy of "strategic tolerance" towards North Korea had come to an end.

"I've joked before that they don't mind being hated, but they definitely hate to be ignored", Ralph Cossa, president of the Pacific Forum CSIS think tank in Honolulu, said after Wednesday's launch.

The firing was made as South Korean and US troops were conducting annual military drills that the North views as an invasion rehearsal.

Motives for North Korea's latest missile test