North Korea launched a ballistic missile test, albeit unsuccessfully, the day before Trump was scheduled to meet with the Chinese president.
North Korea reportedly test-fired a ballistic missile off its eastern coast Wednesday, ahead of a summit between US President Donald Trump and his Chinese counterpart, Xi Jinping. Much of the conversation will focus on Pyongyang’s increasingly defiant arms program.
The missile test ended in failure when the rocket spun out of control and plunged into the sea, a senior US defense official said.
According to South Korea’s Office of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, the missile flew in the air for approximately 60 km (40 miles) from its launch site at Sinpo, a port city located on North Korea’s east coast and home to a North Korean submarine base.
However, “this test, compared to the last one [in February], did not go as far or as high,” said Melissa Hanham of the East Asia Nonproliferation Program, according to CNN. “They may have been trying to test one stage.”
“The launch took place possibly in consideration of the US-China summit, while at the same time it was to check its missile capability,” a South Korean official told Reuters.
Although the Trump administration has condemned North Korea’s recent missile launchings and vowed to defend US allies in the region, such as Japan, US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson released what many referred to as a surprisingly brief statement in response to Wednesday’s test.
“North Korea launched yet another intermediate range ballistic missile,” acknowledged Tillerson. “The United States has spoken enough about North Korea. We have no further comment.”
By: Jonathan Benedek, World Israel News