Putin on N. Korea crisis: Tensions 'balancing on brink of large-scale conflict'

The incident was announced by South Korean officials who say the missile was launched from Sunan, near North Korea's capital, Pyongyang. This could risk triggering a military retaliation from the United States if something goes wrong. South Koreans Vice Defense Minister Suh Choo-suk told lawmakers on Thursday that North Korea might have fired the missile at about half its maximum range.

A statement by the U.S. Pacific Command issued Thursday afternoon confirmed the meeting between Admiral Harry Harris and Song Young-moo, the Republic of Korea's Minister of National Defense, at Camp Smith in Halawa.

Some even fear Trump might deliberately provoke a military confrontation with North Korea to rally the American population around his faltering leadership.

"There were times when even a short-range ballistic missile launch drew a heated response and sanctions from the global community, but the world didn't do anything about North Korea's short-range ballistic missile launches on Saturday" ahead of Tuesday's longer launch, said Du Hyeogn Cha, a visiting scholar at Seoul's Asan Institute for Policy Studies.

North Korea bought into that kind of agreement in the past, before hardliners in the U.S. Congress undermined American compliance with the agreement.

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This test marks the second time that a SM-6 missile has successfully intercepted a medium-range ballistic missile target, officials said.

It denounced the joint exercises in traditionally robust fashion.

North Korea condemns the annual U.S.

A hard-line stance is also useful to divert the North's citizens' attention away from their threadbare economy that has shown no signs of improving amid tough global sanctions for Pyongyang's missile and nuclear programs, observers noted.

By dismissing the option of using military force, Bannon has made it clear Trump's threats are undermined by the stark, unpalatable realities on the ground. In July, the US and South Korean militaries also fired missiles into South Korean waters.

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U.S. defence secretary Jim Mattis has refuted claims that he disagrees with President Donald Trump on the best strategy to handle tensions with North Korea, saying his comments were "widely misinterpreted".

The U.S. and South Korean militaries say the Hwasong-12 fired over Japan's northern island of Hokkaido flew about 2,700 kilometers (1,677 miles). North Korean leader Kim Jong Un said the launch was a "curtain-raiser of its resolute countermeasures" against the U.S.

Constant North Korean provocations do not seriously disturb Seoul-based foreigners like Matthew Crawford either.

"'Diplomatic' can include economic sanctions, United Nations sanctions, it's not just talking".

This photo, taken on August 2, 2017, shows citizens visiting Imjingak in the South Korean border city of Paju near the Demilitarized Zone separating the two Koreas.

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