North Korea says Syria airstrikes prove its nukes justified

The initial USA and South Korean assessments indicated it was a KN-15 medium-range missile, whose first publicly known test in February was considered by many foreign experts as a potentially worrying development.

Speaking after the two-day summit on Sunday, Mr Tillerson said China had agreed to increased cooperation in reining in North Korea's missile and nuclear programmes.

"It's prudent to do it, isn't it?"

Tillerson also might stop making routine statements after every North Korean provocation or missile launch, Bong said.

But even as Trump basked in generally favorable reviews of the first direct US military strike aimed at Assad, the president and his lieutenants seemed far less eager to engage knotty longer-term policy questions about the grinding multi-sided Syrian war, now in its seventh year.

Compounding hitters, April is an important month in the North Korean calendar and the regime likes to mark important dates with fireworks - both with firework displays in the center of Pyongyang and with missile flares.

"The military is keeping a close watch over North Korea's provocative moves and maintaining a high defence posture", the statement added.

One should conduct a dialogue with North Korea, first deputy head of the International Committee of the Federation Council, Vladimir Jabarov believes. North Korea is barred under United Nations resolutions from carrying out ballistic missile launches or nuclear tests.

But on Wednesday, Gen. John Hyten, commander of U.S. Strategic Command, told the Senate Armed Services Committee that "any solution to the North Korea problem has to involve China".

The U.S. military is most anxious about a North Korean nuclear-armed intercontinental ballistic missile, or ICBM, with the range to reach the U.S. homeland.

Citing an unnamed source from the U.S. Department of Defense, AP wrote that the "rocket spun out of control and plunged into the ocean in a fiery crash".

The US missile strike on Syria contained a clear message for North Korea and its main ally China, analysts said, but not one strong enough to push Pyongyang off its nuclear weapons path. "The clock is very, very quickly running out", the official said.

The latest launch comes as South Korea and the USA wrap up their annual spring joint military exercises on the peninsula, which North Korea objects to because it views the drills as preparation for war. "And China will either decide to help us with North Korea, or they won't", Trump said in an interview with the Financial Times published Monday.

On Monday, North Korea's foreign ministry criticized Washington for its tough talk and for an ongoing joint military exercise with South Korea and Japan which Pyongyang sees as a dress rehearsal for invasion.

Japan's Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, who has voiced support for the Syria airstrikes ordered by President Trump, spoke to the United States leader earlier on the telephone.

McMaster said that Trump had asked aides to prepare "a full range of options to remove that threat to the American people and to our allies and partners in the region".

Like his predecessors in the White House, Trump wants China to do more to influence the North's behaviour, but has gone further than others in threatening to go it alone if Beijing fails to step up to the plate. North Korea and South Korea will play each other on Friday afternoon and the game is widely expected to decide the group's top position.

  • Rogelio Becker