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North Korea’s Latest Missile Launch

Sept. 15, 2017 (EIRNS)—North Korea launched another ballistic missile over Japan, for the second time in less than a month, early this morning. South Korea’s Joint Chiefs of Staff said the missile was launched from the Pyongyang area and flew around 3,700 km (2,300 miles) over northeastern Japan and landing in the Pacific Ocean, according to the Korean news agency Yonhap. It traveled 1,000 km (621 miles) farther than the North’s previous test and was said to have been capable of hitting Guam.

Within six minutes of the launch South Korea’s military fired two ballistic missiles Hyunmoo-2, the country’s National Defense Ministry said today. Launched "from an eastern site near the inter-Korean border. One missile flew about 250 km and accurately hit the target in the Sea of Japan. The second launch was not successful—the missile fell shortly after being fired.

The ministry stressed Seoul’s response came while the North’s missile was still flying. This signals that South Korea can quickly respond to Pyongyang’s provocations, it said.

The United Nations Security Council is also expected to gather later today.

The Japanese defense chief said he held a phone conversation with U.S. Defense Secretary James Mattis to discuss the Korean Peninsula crisis. The sides confirmed the need to exert pressure on Pyongyang.

South Korean President Moon Jae-in warned the North today that its missile tests forecloses dialogue and warned Pyongyang against making an attack, local media said. "Dialogue is impossible in a situation like this," Yonhap quoted President Moon as saying at the National Security Council meeting. "In case North Korea undertakes provocations against us or our ally, we have the power to destroy (the North) and make it unable to recover."

After the North Korean missile launch, U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson called for the international community to take "new measures" against North Korea, singling out Russia and China as the countries best placed to apply pressure on the D.P.R.K., almost week after it tested what is now believed to be a powerful hydrogen bomb.

Gen. McMaster and Nicki Haley were more threatening. "For those who have said, and been commenting about a lack of a military option, there is a military option," McMaster said. "Now it is not what we would prefer to do."

Haley said that the UN has "strangled their economic situation at this point" but the results of that are going to

"take a little time.... What we are seeing is they continue to be provocative, they continue to be reckless. And at that point there is not a whole lot the security council is going to be able to do from here when you have cut 90% of the trade and 30% of the oil,"

she said. "So, having said that, I have no problem with kicking it to Mattis because I think he has plenty of options."