Korea fires missile in latest test, US and S. Korea say

U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said economic and diplomatic pressure would continue to be applied to North Korea.

South Korea's new president, Moon Jae-in, held a National Security Council meeting to discuss Sunday's launch, which came hours after he named his new foreign minister nominee and top advisers for security and foreign policy.

The council diplomats say the closed discussion was requested by the United States, Japan and South Korea and will take place Tuesday.

According to Reuters the South Korean military officials also reported the missile that was tested "appeared to be an upgraded, extended-range version of the North's solid-fuel submarine-launched missile".

Altitude was key to the test a week earlier, which analysts called North Korea's most successful ever in its quest to develop ballistic missiles that can carry nuclear warheads.

The drumbeat of missile tests and persistent fears North Korea may conduct a sixth nuclear test has sent tensions soaring on the Korean peninsula.

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Prior to the USA official's statement, South Korea's Joint Chiefs of Staff said in a statement, "North Korea launched an unidentifiable projectile to the East Sea from Bukchang area in South Pyongyang Province at 16:49 today".

The missile was launched from a location near Pukchang, 60km north-east of the capital Pyongyang. USA officials traveling with President Trump in Saudi Arabia noted that the system used in Sunday's launch had a shorter range than missiles fired in three previous tests. Experts said that rocket flew higher and for a longer time than any other missile previously tested by North Korea, and that it could one day reach targets as far away as Hawaii and Alaska. China says North Korea should stop its pursuit of nuclear missiles and the USA should stop the war games on and around the Korean Peninsula.

It comes a week after it tested an intermediate-range missile which experts saw as an advancement in the reclusive state's weapons programme.

Kim In Ryong told reporters that the U.S.' hostile policy towards North Korea is "the root of all problems" and that regardless of US sanctions, Pyongyang would never abandon its "nuclear deterrence for self-defense and pre-emptive strike capability". It was on Sunday, May 21, when North Korea fired the most recent missile, which was a ballistic missile with mid-range. North Korea on Sunday fired a midrange ballis.

Parade celebrating the 105th anniversary of the birth of North Korean leader Kim Il-Sung in Pyongyang in April. That means missiles can be fired before satellites can track them.

On Monday, the South's Unification Ministry spokesman Lee Duk-haeng said while Seoul will respond firmly to any provocations by the North, "it would not be desirable to have ties between the South and the North severed".

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