dglobalnews.com European Union boosts sanctions against North Korea over nuke tests
Published: Sat, April 08, 2017
Global Media | By Cecelia Webb

European Union boosts sanctions against North Korea over nuke tests

The Trump administration has undertaken a review of the US government's North Korea policy, which is being coordinated by National Security Adviser H.R. McMaster.

North Korea has been increasingly provocative in recent weeks.

The launch on Wednesday into waters off North Korea's east coast came shortly before US President Donald Trump's first meeting with Chinese leader Xi Jinping later this week, raising speculation that it might have been timed to get their attention. "China has done little to help", the President said in a tweet last month.

South Korea and the United States say the sole objective of the THAAD system is to defend against missile launches from North Korea but China says the system's powerful radar could penetrate into its territory.

During the mission, the US will work with targets that replicate the speed and trajectory of the missiles Kim has been using during tests fired from North Korea.

North Korea's liquid fuel-powered ballistic missiles typically require a garrison, fuel storage tanks and support vehicles to launch, which can be identified with imagery, experts say.

Wednesday's firing was made as South Korean and United States troops were conducting annual military drills that North Korea views as an invasion rehearsal. On both occasions the missiles landed in the Sea of Japan.

"The President emphasized that the United States stands with its allies Japan and South Korea in the face of the serious threat that North Korea continues to pose". Those missiles traveled to their maximum range of 620 miles with some falling in the waters belonging to Japan's exclusive economic zone. This was one of several test missiles by that country so far this year ordered by leader Kim Jong Un.

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Shortly after this test occurred, the US delivered the Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) anti-missile system to South Korea, a process which the USA started working on with its ally after the flurry of North Korean missile tests in 2016.

Working-level defense officials of the three countries held a video conference earlier in the day to discuss the North's missile launch Wednesday.

South Korea's Unification Ministry spokesman, Lee Duk-Haeng, said the launch was a "threat against peace and stability".

"The policy of strategic patience has ended", Tillerson said on March 17. "All options are on the table".

"They've been able to put a nuke on a missile for a while now", said Jeffrey Lewis of the California-based Middlebury Institute of International Studies.

That time the U.S. leader responded by pledging "100 per cent" support for Japan, which along with South Korea is Washington's key regional ally.

Though the White House has previously issued tough remarks on North Korea, the latest statement was released hours prior to Trump's meeting with Xi.

In an interview with the Financial Times published early his week, Trump said it would be "very good for China" if it decides to help the US resolve the North Korean issue.

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