U.S. and North Korea like 'two accelerating trains,' China says

U.S. and North Korea like 'two accelerating trains,' China says

U.S. and North Korea like 'two accelerating trains,' China says

North Korea on Monday launched several missiles, which flew about 1,000 kilometers before falling into the waters between it and Japan.

Although it is unlikely that the missiles launched represent a significant advancement in North Korea's missile technology, the fact that four were launched and three of them reached Japan's EEZ marks a significant increase in tension between North Korea and its neighbours.

The launches defy United Nations resolutions that ban North Korea from any use of ballistic missile technology. However, THAAD can be overwhelmed if North Korea launched a barrage of missiles.

Now, a potential resolution China proposed Wednesday calls on the US and South Korea to suspend those operations, in exchange for North Korea's full stop of its nuclear and ballistic missile programs.

Tongchang-ri is near the North's border with China, where the isolated state fired a long-range rocket past year that put an object into orbit.

"Now that the United States imperialists and the South Korean puppet forces again kicked off the unsafe nuclear war drills against the DPRK at its doorstep, our army will counter them with the toughest counteractions", a spokesman said in a statement carried by the KCNA news agency.

"All sides should exercise restraint and not do anything to irritate each other to worsen regional tensions", Geng said, referring to both the missile launch and US-South Korean military exercises.

The ambassador said the United States seeks to convince public opinion that the joint exercise is a response to North Korea's nuclear weapons, but he said the US and South Korea carried out military drills numerous times before Pyongyang possessed its "nuclear deterrent". -South Korea military drills it sees as preparation for war.

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Last week, Seoul and Washington began their annual joint military exercises.

This photo of a surface-to-surface medium-long range missile was released by North Korea last month.

France condemned the missile firings. The deployment came a day after North Korean dictator Kim Jong-un fired four test missiles towards Japan.

The launch was "a grave threat to our country's national security", the government's spokesman Yoshihide Suga told a news conference.

In Japan, analysts said the launches suggested that North Korea could pose a more serious threat than indicated by previous tests.

A US defense official said the Pentagon does not think the missile was an ICBM. THAAD may be able to provide South Korea with some limited protection against a ballistic missile attack.

North Korea is under heavy global sanctions for its nuclear and missile programmes.

Washington is in the initial stages of deploying its Terminal High Altitude Area Defense missile shield in South Korea.

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