Japan and South Korea have condemned North Korea after it launched another ballistic missile – but the US refused to be drawn in, with secretary of state Rex Tillerson saying the country “has spoken enough about North Korea”.
Japan lodged a strong protest over the “extremely problematic launch”, which landed in waters off the Korean peninsula on the eve of a summit between US and Chinese leaders that is expected to focus on Pyongyang’s nuclear weapons programme.
The South Korean foreign ministry said it “threatens the peace and safety of the international community as well as the Korean peninsula”.
But Tillerson responded to the test with an a enigmatic statement saying only: “The United States has spoken enough about North Korea. We have no further comment.”
A few hours earlier, before news of the new missile launch broke, a senior Trump administration official suggested time was running out for a diplomatic solution.
“We would have loved to see North Korea join the community of nations,” the official said. “They have been given that opportunity over the course in different dialogues and offers over the course of four administrations with some of best diplomats and statesmen doing the best they could to bring about a resolution.
“The clock has now run out and all options are on the table for us.”
The missile was launched on Wednesday from Sinpo, a port city on North Korea’s east coast, and flew about 60km (37 miles), South Korea’s office of the joint chiefs of staff said in a short statement. Sinpo is the site of a North Korean submarine base.
The launch comes as the US president, Donald Trump, and China’s president, Xi Jinping, prepare for a summit this week at which adding…
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