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US admiral: North Korea's actions 'recipe for disaster'

17 Mai 2017

South Korean President Moon Jae-in said Wednesday there was a "high possibility" of conflict with North Korea, which is pressing ahead with nuclear and missile programs it says it needs to counter USA aggression.

North Korea test-launched a missile on Sunday that many experts believe could be its most advanced yet, flying higher and longer than any previous missile.

Trump has called for an immediate halt to North Korea's missile and nuclear tests and U.S. Disarmament Ambassador Robert Wood said on Tuesday that China's leverage was key and Beijing could do more.

US ambassador to the UN Nikki Haley speaks while Japan's UN ambassador Koro Bessho (L) and South Korea's UN ambassador Cho Tae-yul (R) look on during a press encounter ahead of an emergency meeting of the UN Security Council at the United Nations in New York, US, May 16, 2017.

"The risky behaviour by North Korea is not just a threat to the Korean's a threat to China, it's a threat to Russia", Harris told an academic forum in Tokyo. "We have not seen anything from them in the past week but we are encouraging them to continue moving forward".

The missile, launched on an unusually high trajectory, flew to an altitude of 2,111.5km, and travelled 787km before landing in the Sea of Japan.

Pyongyang should "conduct no further nuclear and ballistic missile tests", it said.

Han Min-koo told South Korea's parliament the test-launch had been detected by the controversial American THAAD anti-missile system, whose deployment in the South has infuriated China.

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During a phone call with Chinese President Xi Jinping last week, South Korea's new president, Moon Jae-in, said he was aware of Chinese worries about THAAD and asked Xi to help resolve difficulties facing South Korean businesses operating in China.

The North's Director of Asian Affairs Pak Jong-hak claimed the secretive state is attempting to bolster its defences.

Moon's envoy to the United States, South Korean media mogul Hong Seok-hyun, left for Washington on Wednesday.

South Korea was mostly spared from the latest ransomware attack, partly because constant threats from the North have made the government and companies careful about always updating their software.

The Security Council first imposed sanctions on North Korea in 2006 and has stiffened them in response to its five nuclear tests and two long-range rocket launches.

The growing threats from the North prompted Seoul to recently deploy a powerful United States anti-missile system despite angry opposition by China that sees it as a threat to its own military capability.

The launch represented a "significant success", Bruce Klingner, a senior research fellow at the Heritage Foundation think tank, told AFP.

US admiral: North Korea's actions 'recipe for disaster'