President Donald Trump and Japan PM Shinzo Abe speak on North Korea at Mar-a-Lago, Florida. Pic/AP
Seoul: North Korea fired a ballistic missile into the sea early yesterday, the first such test since US President Donald Trump was elected. His administration indicated that Washington would have a calibrated response to avoid escalating tensions.
The launch marks the first test of Trump’s vow to get tough on an isolated North Korean regime that last year tested nuclear devices and ballistic missiles at an unprecedented rate in violation of UN resolutions. A US official said the Trump administration had been expecting a North Korean “provocation” soon after taking office and would consider a full range of options in response, but these would be calibrated to show US resolve while avoiding escalation.
The new administration is likely to step up pressure on China to rein in North Korea. “This was no surprise,” the official said. “The North Korean leader likes to draw attention at times like this.”
Missile likely a Musudan:âÂÂS Korea
South Korea’s military said the ballistic missile launched by North Korea in the early hours yesterday was probably an intermediate range Musudan class, revising its earlier assessment that it was likely to have been a medium-range missile. “The missile fired around Panghyon in the city of Kusong is likely to be an improved version of a Musudan missile,” South Korea’s Office of Joint Chiefs of Staff said in a statement.
The distance the missile flew