North Korea fires third test missile in as many weeks

Abe said a "firm protest" was lodged with North Korea and the country would take action with "together with the US".

The missile is believed to be the latest test-launch of a ballistic missile as North Korea seeks to build a missile which could reach the mainland of the United States.

Since 2008, photographer Eric Lafforgue ventured to North Korea six times.

"We will also co-operate with South Korea and other members of the global society and maintain high levels of caution in order to do utmost for the protection of our people's safety".

While North Korea continues to launch missiles, it has not conducted a nuclear test so far this year, which would likely result in a stronger response from the US and perhaps even its ally, China.

On Tuesday, the United States will test an existing missile defense system to try to intercept an ICBM, the first such test, officials said last week. Three land in waters near Japan.

It was the third ballistic missile test-launch since South Korea's liberal President Moon Jae-in took office on 10 May pledging to engage with the reclusive neighbour in dialogue. The missile flies about 60 kilometers (40 miles) before falling into the sea.

South Korea says North Korea has conducted nine ballistic missile tests this year, including one in which four missiles were launched on the same day.

The reclusive state rejects United Nations and unilateral sanctions by other states against its weapons programme as an infringement of its right to self defense and says the programme is necessary to counter USA aggression. He called a National Security Council meeting to discuss the North's launch.

'We continue to monitor North Korea's actions closely, ' PACOM said in a statement.

But the launch followed a report from the North that said leader Kim Jong Un had watched a successful test of a new type of anti-aircraft guided weapon system.

At the Defense Ministry in Tokyo's Ichigaya district, the chiefs of staff held an emergency meeting from early in the morning.

May 21: North Korea again tests the solid-fuel Pukguksong-2.

"The government will respond strongly to any North Korean provocations, but at the same time, we are flexibly reviewing ways to allow humanitarian and civilian exchanges without compromising worldwide sanctions", a South Korean ministry official said Monday.

Washington:US President Donald Trump said North Korea showed disrespect to its major ally China after it fired a short-range ballistic missile on Monday that landed in the sea off its east coast.

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