NEWS

North Korea Launches Ballistic Missile

04/07/2017 6:33 PM AEST | Updated 04/07/2017 6:34 PM AEST

North Korea launched a ballistic missile into the sea, the South Korean Military said Monday night, a provocation sure to draw strong rebuke as international leaders struggle to reign in the rogue nation.

South Korea's Joint Chiefs of Staff described the projectile, fired from the North's western region, as an "unidentified" ballistic missile, Yonhap News reported. The Japanese government said it flew for about 40 minutes and may have landed in the country's exclusive economic zone, according to Reuters. The outlet notes the North has traditionally test fired weapons around the American July 4 holiday.

Yonhap said South Korean President Moon Jae-in has called for a National Security Council meeting following the launch.

The launch would be North Korea's 11th missile firing this year as the country continues its aim to develop an intercontinental ballistic missile capable of reaching the United States.

U.S. President Donald Trump has sought to work with China to quash North Korea's nuclear program. Trump has reportedly grown frustrated with Chinese President Xi Jinping's unwillingness to increase pressure on the North. The New York Times has reported Trump has said he's prepared to act unilaterally on the issue.

Trump spoke by phone with Xi and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe over the weekend to discuss North Korea, and the White House said "both leaders reaffirmed their commitment to a denuclearized Korean Peninsula."

Trump addressed the launch on Twitter late Monday night, rhetorically asking if North Korean leader Kim Jong-un had "anything better to do with his life." He also suggested that China should increase pressure on the North.

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