Pyongyang fired a ballistic missile over Japan earlier this week, causing alarm across the world and deep reflection from North Korea's neighbours on whether they are prepared to cope with a potentially devastating clash of arms.
The aggressive test-flight over the territory of a close U.S. ally sent a clear message of defiance as Washington and Seoul conduct war games nearby.
In July, it carried out its first two successful tests of an intercontinental-range missile, apparently bringing much of the United States mainland into range.
"We have also requested an emergency meeting of the U.N. Security Council".
A statement from Seoul's presidential office confirmed that shortly after the North's latest test was detected, South Korea discussed deploying American strategic assets to the peninsula so the South does not have to rely on powerful hardware being scrambled from Guam, such as B-1B bombers.More news: Bears' Cameron Meredith reportedly has ACL tear, other damage to knee
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Before Tuesday's launch, it appeared North Korea was backing away from its threat to fire missiles toward Guam. He said, "North Korea's actions are a threat to our allies, partners and homeland, and their destabilizing actions will be met accordingly". Pyongyang had also launched projectiles over Japan in 1998. It was later determined that only one projectile was launched and that it broke up into three parts.
"We will do our utmost to protect people's lives", Prime Minister Shinzo Abe told reporters. Still, it's unclear whether the North will ever act on its threat to fire missiles at the "advanced base of invasion".
Tuesday's launch comes days after the North fired what was assessed as three short-range ballistic missiles into the sea and a month after its second flight test of an intercontinental ballistic missile, which analysts say could reach deep into the USA mainland when perfected.
This photo, taken on August 26, 2017, shows citizens watching North Korea's missile launch at Seoul Station in Seoul.
US Secretary of Defense James Mattis said that the US is "never out of diplomatic solutions" following the latest missile launch by North Korea. "Russian Federation believes that the policy of putting pressure on Pyongyang to stop its nuclear missile program is misguided and futile", Putin, who is due to attend a summit of the BRICS nations in China next week, wrote ahead of his trip.
North Korea typically reacts with anger to the annual US-South Korean military drills, which are happening now, often testing weapons and threatening Seoul and Washington in its state-controlled media.
North Korea has made no secret of its intention to develop a nuclear-tipped missile to fire at the United States and has recently threatened the USA territory of Guam.