US general confident North Korean missile can be intercepted

Posted April 16, 2017

Kim, the analyst, also said it's likely the North will continue to test-fire missiles over the next few months as it continues to pursue a reliable nuclear-tipped missile that can reach the mainland U.S.

Hyten disclosed Tuesday that North Korea's February 11 missile test demonstrated new capabilities, saying it "was a very important date because that's the date the North Koreans launched a new solid" fuel medium-range ballistic missile off a new mobile launcher. The launch drew swift condemnation from Japan, with Prime Minister Shinzo Abe saying further provocative action was possible.

Japan's Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga said the North's missile launch was "extremely problematic" and Tokyo has lodged a strong protest against its nucleararmed neighbour.

The Pentagon can defend against any North Korean missile threat, but Pyongyang's rapidly evolving weapons program is shrinking the warning time ahead of a launch, a top U.S. general said on Thursday.

"Both sides agreed to pursue. plans in order to substantially strengthen the worldwide community's sanctions and pressure on North Korea", South Korea's presidential Blue House said in a statement, adding that "both agreed to push forward the deployment of THAAD by USA forces in Korea".

U.S. Ambassador Nikki Haley said Monday that "the United States has seen China for 25 plus years say that they're concerned about North Korea, but we haven't seen them act like they're concerned about North Korea".

US Pacific Fleet Commander Admiral Scott Swift said diplomatic and economic measures against North Korea have not had the results that people were expecting.

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During the conversation, Abe and Trump also stressed that China has a key role in persuading North Korea to put an end to its missile and nuclear weapons programmes.

The third, an intermediate-ranged Musudan missile launched on March 22, crashed shortly after take-off.

The president has previously called on China to do more on North Korea, but Beijing has been hesitant to push too hard on Pyongyang.

In June 2015, Seoul said it successfully tested the Hyunmoo-2B.

On Wednesday, North Korea launched a projectile about 60 kilometers into the Sea of Japan.

SEOUL, South Korea North Korea rarely misses an opportunity to conduct a banned missile test to coincide with a high-profile world event that's expected to discuss the impoverished yet nuclear-armed country.

USA officials have not identified what type of missile was tested on March 21 since it exploded so soon after launch.