North Korea conducts new ballistic missile test

North Korea's latest missile test Monday may have less to do with perfecting its weapons technology than with showing USA and South Korean forces in the region that it can strike them at will.

Such launches, and two nuclear tests since January 2016, have been conducted in defiance of United Nations resolutions and the threat of more sanctions.

The KCNA report did not give a distance the missile covered, but Japanese and South Korean monitors said it flew 248 miles (400 kilometers) over the Sea of Japan/East Sea from a launch point on Wonsan, on North Korea's east coast.

Following Pyongyang's latest missile launch Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe vowed to take action against the state with the help of the United States.

In tweet on Monday, US President Donald Trump joined the leaders of South Korea and Japan in condemning the test, saying that North Korea had "shown great disrespect" for China by "shooting off yet another ballistic missile".

North Korea is still thought to be several years from its goal of being able to target USA mainland cities with nuclear ICBMs.

North Korea on Tuesday boasted its test of a precision-guided missile was "successful", saying it had zeroed in within a few metres of a target provocatively close to Japan the day before.

Currently, North Korea possesses an important arsenal of short-range missiles originally developed by the Soviet Union.

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"North Korea is obviously one of the reasons why we have this capability", Davis said.

North Korea's nuclear ambitions have injected a new sense of urgency to building an effective defense against the country and actions of its unpredictable leader, Kim Jong Un, who is trying to develop a long-range missile capable of carrying a nuclear warhead and reaching the USA mainland.

"That the North repeated such provocations after the inauguration of our new leadership.is a direct challenge to our demand for peace and denuclearisation of the Korean peninsula", the foreign ministry said.

North Korea has said its latest ballistic missile launch was a success, South Korean media reported today.

According to experts, Pyongyang has increased the pace in terms of nuclear testing to an unprecedented level in the effort to develop an intercontinental missile capable of destroying USA territory.

Withdrawing the shield "brooks not a moment's delay as its deployment would make South Korea the first target of strike by neighbouring nuclear powers", it said. "This regime is a threat to the region, to Japan, to South Korea, and in the event of war, they would bring danger to China and to Russian Federation, as well". US officials say the missile was likely a KN-17, a new Scud-type missile.

Pentagon officials say the test is to simulate the capability for responding to a hypothetical North Korean ICBM. "We insist on a political resolution through peaceful means".

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