North Korea test-fires ballistic missile ahead of Trump-Xi meeting

PUBLISHED Tue, April 04, 2017 - 6:26pm EDT

North Korea has test-fired another ballistic missile, the U.S. military says, less than 48 hours before U.S. President Donald Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping are scheduled to meet to discuss the country's nuclear program. (more)

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The projectile was launched at 6:12 a.m. local time on Wednesday from a site near the port city of Sinpo in South Hamgyong Province, according to U.S. Pacific Command. The missile fell into the sea off North Korea's eastern coast about 9 minutes later.

"Initial assessments indicate the type of missile was a KN-15 medium range ballistic missile," said Commander Dave Benham, a spokesman for U.S. Pacific Command. "U.S. Pacific Command is fully committed to working closely with our Republic of Korea and Japanese allies to maintain security."

South Korea's National Security Council (NSC) convened an emergency meeting to discuss the missile test, according to the Yonhap news agency.

Tuesday's test comes less than 48 hours before U.S. President Donald Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping are scheduled to meet in Florida to discuss North Korea. Speaking on Tuesday evening, a White House official said Trump would urge China to increase its pressure on North Korea.

North Korea has carried out a series of missile tests over the past month, though its most recent one on March 22 ended in failure with the missile exploding almost immediately. Subsequent satellite imagery showed evidence of a massive explosion at the launch site.

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