European Union expands sanctions against North Korea

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SEOUL, South Korea (AP) - A North Korean missile test ended in failure Wednesday when the rocket spun out of control and plunged into the ocean in a fiery crash, a senior US defense official said. When conducting nuclear and missiles tests in recent years, it has cited what it calls increasing USA military threats.

Tensions have escalated over North Korean moves to accelerate its weapons development.

"The United States has spoken enough about North Korea".

Since taking office, Trump has left open the possibility of military action against North Korea.

The JCS told local media Wednesday, shortly after the launch, that the missile appeared to be a KN-15, also known as Pukguksong-2 in North Korea, which is way more technologically sophisticated than a Scud ER.

On Wednesday, it fired a newly developed missile into the sea, this time on the eve of the first meeting between President Donald Trump and his Chinese counterpart, Xi Jinping.

South Korea's defence ministry said the missile -- launched days after Pyongyang warned of retaliation if the global community ramps up sanctions - had flown 60 kilometres (about 40 miles).

And now, experts agree, North Korea is closing in on the ability to hit the United States with a missile, a goal that for decades has been the subject of Pyongyang's vivid propaganda posters.

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Trump told reporters aboard Air Force One on Thursday that he doesn't know Conaway, but he heard he was well-respected. He said he hopes Trump is asking McMaster about his options, including for diplomacy and the legal basis to use force.

In addition to this, on Tuesday an unnamed USA official said about North Korea and the upcoming meeting between Trump and China's leader, "The clock has now run out, and all options are on the table for us".

Tillerson also might stop making routine statements after every North Korean provocation or missile launch, Bong said.

"I've joked before that they don't mind being hated but they definitely hate to be ignored", Cossa said.

Recent outside satellite imagery show possible preparations for a new nuclear test at the North's main nuclear test site, such as the laying of communication cables used to initiate a test and collect data. The United States, South Korea and others call North Korea's space program a cover for its long-range missile development program.

Last August Pyongyang also successfully test-fired a submarine-launched ballistic missile 500 kilometres towards Japan, far exceeding any previous sub-launched tests, in what the North's leader Kim Jong-Un hailed as the "greatest success".

A panel studying Japan's response to North Korea's rapidly expanding nuclear/missile capabilities has recommended that Japan be equipped to retaliate should the North launch a ballistic missile at its heartland. He said it did not fall within Japan's exclusive economic zone, Xinhua news agency reported.

North Korea now has the strength to "wipe out" the United States "in a moment" with an H-bomb, the editorial said.