Update: President Trump has responded...
North Korea disrespected the wishes of China & its highly respected President when it launched, though unsuccessfully, a missile today. Bad!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) April 28, 2017
* * *
Update: President Trump has been briefed. Japanese Cabinet Secretary Yoshida Suga notes that one missile was test-fired and seen to drop within Korean territory - strongly protests the action. US Pacific Command confirms that the missile didn't leave North Korean territory, didn't pose a threat to North America. Furthermore, as AP adds, the launched missile was likely a medium-range KN-17 ballistic missile.
* * *
As we detailed earlier, South Korea's Yonhap News reported that North Korea has provoked Trump with yet another ballistic missile test launch, just hours after the US pushed for for more pressure against the Kim Jong-Un regime.
(URGENT) N. Korea test-fires a ballistic missile: S. Korean military. https://t.co/Lm8Pl8mz0V— Yonhap News Agency (@YonhapNews) April 28, 2017
However it did not fly far: the missile, fired from an area just north of Pyongyang toward the Sea of Japan, flew several minutes before breaking apart. AP reports that a US official says North Korean test was likely of a medium-range ballistic missile; it broke up minutes after launch.
The U.S. Pacific Command confirmed a launch took place at 10:30am Hawaii Time near Pukchang airfield, however the missile did not get to the Sea of Japan and never left North Korean territory, suggesting it failed shortly after launch..
This launch comes just hours after U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson warned on Friday that failure to curb North Korea's nuclear and missile development could lead to 'catastrophic consequences,' while China and Russia cautioned Washington against threatening military force.
As Reuters reports, Washington has recently lavished praise on Beijing for its efforts to rein in its ally Pyongyang, but Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi made clear to the U.N. Security Council it was not only up to China to solve the North Korean problem.
"The key to solving the nuclear issue on the peninsula does not lie in the hands of the Chinese side," Wang told the 15-member council in remarks contradicting the White House belief that it does wield significant influence.
The ministerial meeting of the council, chaired by Tillerson, exposed old divisions between the United States and China on how to deal with North Korea. China wants talks first and action later, while the United States wants North Korea to curtail its nuclear program before such talks start.
"It is necessary to put aside the debate over who should take the first step and stop arguing who is right and who is wrong," Wang told the council. "Now is the time to seriously consider resuming talks."
Tillerson responded: "We will not negotiate our way back to the negotiating table with North Korea, we will not reward their violations of past resolutions, we will not reward their bad behavior with talks."
North Korea did not take part in the meeting.
It seems we just got one step closer to "a major, major conflict."