North Korea fires projectile into sea

The leaders also pledged to exert joint pressure on North Korea, "strongly" urging it to scrap the nuclear and ballistic missile programs and "not take any further provocative actions." .

The test is additionally the first since South Korean President Park Geun-hye was formally impeached from office in December 2016 following an influence-peddling scandal.

In June, North Korea launched two missiles believed to by Musudan mid-range ballistic missiles which crashed into the Sea of Japan.

GETTYThe North Korean army reportedly fired the missile Sunday morning.

"I just want everybody to understand and fully know that the United States of America stands behind Japan, its great ally, one hundred percent", Trump said in Mar-a-Lago, Palm Beach in Florida, during a joint briefing with Japan's Prime Minister Shinzo Abe.

North Korea conducted two nuclear tests past year in a show of the country's rapidly advancing weapons program.

South Korea's Yonhap News Agency earlier said the JCS was analyzing whether the projectile might be a Musudan-type missile, which has an estimated range of between 2,500-4,000 kilometers and an estimated payload capacity of 1,000-1,250 kilograms.

South Korea has yet to establish whether the latest launch was a long-range or a short-range missile.

The launch came from the same region where Kim Jong Un's regime fired a mid-range Musudan missile last October. The U.S. Strategic Command said it detected and tracked what it assessed to be a medium- or intermediate-range ballistic missile. The remarks elicited a searing response from Mr Trump, who said "it won't happen". Estimates vary over how far this mobile intermediate-range ballistic missile could travel, but at its best the Musudan would be able to reach USA military bases in Guam.

Following the launch, acting South Korean President Hwang Kyo-ahn said that he and the worldwide community "are working together to take punitive actions appropriate for this launch". "It is aimed at drawing global attention to the North by boasting its nuclear and missile capabilities", the JCS said in a text message.

The official explained that Trump and his administration expected North Korea to try something like this early on.

Kim Dong-yeop, an analyst at the Institute for Far Eastern Studies in Seoul, said that the projectile could be a Musudan or a similar rocket created to test engines for an intercontinental ballistic missile that could hit the USA mainland. Following the launch of a satellite on February 7, 2015, that was preceded by the country's fourth nuclear test on January 6, the UNSC adopted Resolution 2270.

  • Joey Payne