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North Korea Launches Missile Amid Rising Tensions But Test Fails

President Donald Trump accused of 'creating a war situation'.

16/04/2017 11:30 | Updated 16 April 2017
PA Wire/PA Images
Boris Johnson has warned North Korea to comply with the UN

Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson has warned North Korea to comply with the United Nations (UN) after its failed missile launch.

“They must stop these belligerent acts and comply with UN resolutions,” Johnson said of the country.

It comes after the secretive state ignored international warnings by conducting a missile test, raising heightened tensions with the US further still.

STR via Getty Images
This April 15, 2017 picture released from North Korea's official Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) on Sunday shows leader Kim Jong-Un (R) attending a military parade in Pyongyang

Military officials in South Korea said the test of an unidentified missile carried out on Sunday had failed.

As international tension heightened over the country’s nuclear weapons programme in the face of fierce American criticism of the Pyongyang regime, Johnson said earlier the situation needed to be looked at carefully.

Kim Hong-Ji / Reuters
People watch a TV broadcasting a news report on North Korea's failed missile launch from its east coast, at a railway station in Seoul, South Korea

“We have been here before but continue to monitor the situation carefully.

“We stand alongside our international partners in making clear that North Korea must adhere to UN resolutions designed to secure peace and stability in the region and stop its pursuit of nuclear weapons,” he said.

The test came after North Korean ruler Kim Jong Un put on a massive show of strength with a military parade in the country’s capital which highlighted the country’s intercontinental ballistic missiles on Saturday.

The display, which celebrated the 105th anniversary of the birth of his late grandfather Kim Il Sung, saw the regime intensify its rhetoric against the US.

Trump accused

Choe Ryong Hae, widely regarded as the secretive state’s number two leading official, accused President Donald Trump of “creating a war situation” on the Korean Peninsula by sending American forces to the region.

He said: “We will respond to an all-out war with an all-out war and a nuclear war with our style of a nuclear attack.”

The parade came amid growing international concern that North Korea could be preparing for a sixth nuclear test or a major missile launch, possibly its first flight test of an ICBM capable of reaching America.

So far there has been no confirmation of the test, or the kind of the missile launched, by US officials.

Trump has warned that North Korea is “looking for trouble” and ordered an aircraft carrier group to the area to highlight American concern.

China has expressed fears “conflict could break out at any moment”, and that such a situation would bring no winners.

Liberal Democrat leader Tim Farron said Prime Minister Theresa May and Johnson needed to use what influence they had with Trump to tell him that “aircraft carrier diplomacy” was not the answer.

“If Theresa May and Boris Johnson really do have any influence with their great friend in the White House they need to make clear that aircraft carrier diplomacy is not what the world needs.

“Where is Britain’s new global influence that Theresa May was boasting about? On Syria, Russia and now North Korea, the British Government has no influence, cut off from our partners in Europe thanks to their hard Brexit.”

As concern about the situation mounted, The Sunday Times reported that President Trump’s military advisers have assured the UK that America has the capability to neutralise North Korea’s nuclear programme using conventional weapons.

The newspaper said this could come in the form of a pre-emptive strike as it reported that US national security adviser General HR McMaster has told British security chiefs and military top brass that Washington has the intelligence to target key sites in the nuclear programme.

Defence Secretary Sir Michael Fallon has been briefed by his US equivalent General James Mattis on American options for dealing with North Korea in recent weeks, The Sunday Times said.

The Ministry of Defence told the Press Association it never comments on private conversations between Sir Michael and his international counterparts. 

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