Just when you thought it was safe to sink into a tall glass of beer as US government shutdown was avoided, South Korea's Yonhap News reports that the South Korean military has confirmed that North Korea has test-fired another ballistic missile.
The missile was reportedly fired from an area just north of Pyongyang. South Korean military is currently analyzing the missile type and flight distance. Yonhap aditionally reports that the launch of one ballistic missile appears to have failed.
U.S. Pacific Command on reported North Korean missile test: "We're aware of the event."
This comes just hours after U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson warned on Friday that failure to curb North Korea's nuclear and missile development could lead to 'catastrophic consequences,' while China and Russia cautioned Washington against threatening military force.
As Reuters reports, Washington has recently lavished praise on Beijing for its efforts to rein in its ally Pyongyang, but Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi made clear to the U.N. Security Council it was not only up to China to solve the North Korean problem.
"The key to solving the nuclear issue on the peninsula does not lie in the hands of the Chinese side," Wang told the 15-member council in remarks contradicting the White House belief that it does wield significant influence.
The ministerial meeting of the council, chaired by Tillerson, exposed old divisions between the United States and China on how to deal with North Korea. China wants talks first and action later, while the United States wants North Korea to curtail its nuclear program before such talks start.
"It is necessary to put aside the debate over who should take the first step and stop arguing who is right and who is wrong," Wang told the council. "Now is the time to seriously consider resuming talks."
Tillerson responded: "We will not negotiate our way back to the negotiating table with North Korea, we will not reward their violations of past resolutions, we will not reward their bad behavior with talks."
North Korea did not take part in the meeting.
It seems we just got one step closer to "a major, major conflict."
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