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North Korea launches missile ahead of U.S.-China talks

5 April 2017

The U.S. and South Korea said Pyongyang has launched a medium-range missile, ahead of talks between U.S. President Donald Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping. Ryan Brooks from Reuters reports.

Reporter, Reuters, Ryan Brooks <<< North Korea's fourth missile test of the year piling on diplomatic pressure early Wednesday. The South's military says a ballistic rocket took off from the Korean peninsula's east coast, from the site of a known North Korean submarine base. Seoul condemned the launch later that morning.

U.S. Pacific Command said the weapon was likely a KN-15 medium-range missile.

That's one of several models the North's been testing over the past few months, all believed to be in pursuit of crafting an intercontinental ballistic missile that can hit the United States.

Wednesday's missile comes a day before U.S. President Donald Trump sits for talks with Chinese President Xi Jinping, where discussion over how to curb the North's arms programs will top the agenda.

That includes whether Trump will make good on his threat to squeeze trade ties with China twisting Beijing's arm to do more to control an unpredictable Pyongyang.

A senior White House official told Reuters Trump views the North as a test of U.S.-China relations.

Beijing maintains it doesn't have that kind of pull with its unruly neighbor.