North Korea has conducted another ballistic missile test this morning, defying its key ally, China, and a United Nations ban on tests.
South Korea’s Joint Chiefs of Staff confirmed the test from a region north of Pyongyang, according to Reuters, but the missile blew up shortly after launch.
US president Donald Trump, as well as Australian prime minister Malcolm Turnbull, are now warning that “major, major conflict” with North Korea is “absolutely” a possibility over the nuclear missile program.
The latest in a series of tests comes as the US prepares to set up its $US1 billion Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) system in South Korea, despite warnings from China against the move.
US president Donald Trump wants South Korea to pay for the missile defense system amid threats over trade, but has been rebuffed by Seoul.
US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson has warned of “catastrophic consequences” after the UN Security Council, lead by Russia and China, condemned the build up of US military force in the area as tensions escalate.
The USS Carl Vinson aircraft carrier group is heading to the area and a nuclear submarine, the USS Michigan, arrived in South Korea this week and the South Korean navy is planning to hold military drills with the US forces.
The US announced a tough new strategy against North Korea this week, with Tillerson and secretary of defence Jim Mattis, issuing a statement saying “Past efforts have failed to halt North Korea’s unlawful weapons programs and nuclear and ballistic missile tests.”
“We are engaging responsible members of the international community to increase pressure on the DPRK,” the statement says.
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