North Korea ‘tests ballistic missile’ amid reports Pyongyang stating war ‘imminent’

29 Apr

Quoting an American official,  Reuters is reporting that the  Trump administration could respond to North Korea’s latest failed missile test by speeding up its plans for new U.S. sanctions against Pyongyang, including possible measures against specific North Korean and Chinese entities.

With North Korea acting in defiance of pressure from the United States and North Korea’s main ally, China, Washington could also conduct new naval drills and deploy more ships and aircraft in the region as a show of force, the official said, speaking on condition of anonymity.

“It’s possible that something could be sped up,” the official said of the potential for imposing a limited package of targeted sanctions on North Korea. “Something that’s ready to go could be taken from the larger package and expedited.”

The source said the ballistic missile launch was the kind of “provocation” that had been anticipated ahead of South Korea’s May 9 election, and President Donald Trump could use the test-firing to further press China to do more to rein in North Korea.

U.S. officials, speaking on condition of anonymity, said the missile fired from a region north of Pyongyang was probably a medium-range missile known as a KN-17 and appears to have broken up within minutes of taking off.

Should North Korea test-fire an intercontinental ballistic missile as it has threatened, Washington would consider it a more dangerous milestone, the administration official told Reuters, suggesting it would draw a much tougher U.S. response.

The Trump administration is especially worried about Pyongyang’s work to develop a nuclear-tipped missile capable of hitting the United States. Washington is also watching closely for the possibility of North Korea’s sixth nuclear test.

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