Report says North Korea may be readying missile launch

Report says North Korea may be readying missile launch”

North Korea's sixth and most powerful nuclear test "torpedoes the global non-proliferation regime, violates UN Security Council resolutions and worldwide law, and creates a threat for regional peace and stability", Putin said in a phone call with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, according to the Kremlin. Significantly, it came on a day China said it had lodged an official protest with North Korea following Pyongyang's largest-ever nuclear weapons test.

Russian Federation and China have both proposed a two-pronged approach: North Korea would suspend its nuclear and missile development, and the US and South Korea would suspend their joint military exercises, which they say are defensive but Pyongyang views as a rehearsal for invasion.

The North trumpeted "perfect success" Sunday in its sixth nuclear test blast since 2006.

The target was set considering the distance to the North's test site and the exercise was aimed at practicing precision strikes and cutting off reinforcements, Seoul's Joint Chiefs of Staff said. North Korea is thought to have a growing arsenal of nuclear bombs and has spent decades trying to flawless a multistage, long-range missile to eventually carry smaller versions of those bombs.

BRICS, in its Xiamen Declaration issued during the Summit of the grouping's leaders, strongly deplored the nuclear test conducted by North Korea.

In Washington, Trump, asked by a reporter if he would attack the North, said: "We'll see".

Despite the tough talk, the immediate focus of the global response was expected to be on tougher economic sanctions against Pyongyang.

Mattis said the USA will answer any threat from the North with a "massive military response - a response both effective and overwhelming".

"We have fooled around with North Korea for 25 years, and fooling around some more is just going to make matters worse", he added. The North says its missile development is part of a defensive effort to build a viable nuclear deterrent that can target US cities.

His handling of Pyongyang's latest nuclear test reflected a more traditional approach to crisis management, which USA officials said illustrated the influence of Mattis and new White House chief of staff, retired Marine Corps General John Kelly. "We also forecast North Korea could fire an intercontinental ballistic missile", Chang Kyung-soo, a defense ministry official, told a parliament hearing on Monday.

Scheduled after North Korea said it detonated a hydrogen bomb underground Sunday, the emergency session comes six days after the council strongly condemned Pyongyang's "outrageous" launch of a ballistic missile over Japan.

It has made rapid progress with its nuclear programme, in defiance of United Nations sanctions.

Hours before, North Korean state news agency KCNA released pictures showing Kim inspecting a silver, hourglass-shaped warhead during a visit to the North's nuclear weapons institute. He said the South would discuss deploying "the strongest strategic assets of the United States military" - a possible reference to tactical nuclear weapons, which the United States withdrew from South Korea in 1991.

In a series of tweets on Sunday, Trump appeared to rebuke South Korea for that approach.

Trump also suggested putting more pressure on China, the North's patron for many decades and a vital US trading partner, in hopes of persuading Beijing to exert more effective leverage on its neighbor.

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