North Korea launches ballistic missile, first test since Trump took office

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North Korea has fired a ballistic missile into the sea off its eastern coast, marking the country’s first test of such a device since Donald Trump took office as the president of the United States, South Korean and U.S. officials said.

The missile, believed to be a medium- or intermediate-range ballistic missile, was launched near the northwestern city of Kusŏng, according to U.S. Strategic Command. The missile was tracked over North Korea and into waters off its eastern coast.

Other details were not immediately available, but South Korea’s military said that it believes the launch was part of a “show of force” in response to the election of Trump, who stated in January that he would not allow North Korea to develop a nuclear weapon capable of reaching the United States.

Responding to the missile test, Trump and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe delivered an unusual late-night statement from Florida, where the two leaders are staying at Trump’s Mar-a-Lago estate in Palm Beach to play golf and discuss a wide range of subjects.

“North Korea’s most recent missile launch is absolutely intolerable. North Korea must fully comply with the relevant UN Security Council resolutions,” Abe said. “During the summit meeting that I had with President Trump, he assured me that the United States will always be with Japan 100 percent.”

The American leader echoed Abe’s remarks in a very brief statement. “I just want everybody to understand and fully know that the United States of America stands behind Japan, its great ally, 100 percent,” Trump said.

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