The Chinese government has called for an all parties meeting to exercise restraint and take action to stabilise the situation after North Korea’s latest missile launch early Thursday. The North Korea fired four land-to-ship missiles off its east coast which flew about 200km( 124 miles) on early Thursday. The North’s missile tests present a difficult challenge to new South Korean President Moon Jae-in, a liberal elected last month who has expressed a desire to reach out to Pyongyang.
North Korea, under the leadership of Kim Jong UN, has been conducting missile tests at an unprecedented pace in an effort to develop an intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) capable of hitting the mainland United States. North Korea has launched 16 missiles in 10 tests so far in 2017, and Thursday’s test was the fourth since new South Korean President Moon Jae-in took office in May.
The North’s projectiles were fired into waters between South Korea and Japan where U.S. aircraft carriers USS Carl Vinson and USS Ronald Reagan participated in joint exercises with the South Korean Navy that ended earlier this week. Last week, North Korea fired a short-range ballistic missile that also landed in waters between South Korea and Japan, prompting protest from both Seoul and Tokyo.
North Korea’s weapons tests are meant to build a nuclear and missile program that can stand up to what it sees as U.S. and South Korean hostility, but they are also considered by outside analysts as ways to make its political demands clear to leaders in Washington and Seoul.