North Korea test-fired a ballistic missile into the sea off its east coast today, just before the Trump administration's summit with Chinese leaders. Pyongyang's arms program is one of the topics Trump and China's Xi Xingpi are expected to discuss.
South Korea's Office of the Joint Chiefs of Staff says the North Korean missile flew about 60 km (40 miles) from its launch site at Sinpo, a port city on the North's east coast. There's a submarine base there.
"The United States has spoken enough about North Korea. We have no further comment," U.S. Secretary of State and former Exxon CEO Rex Tillerson said in a bizarrely terse statement.
The launch comes just a day before the start of a summit between U.S. President Donald Trump and China's President Xi Jinping, where talks about adding pressure on the North to drop its arms development will take center stage.
"The launch took place possibly in consideration of the U.S. -China summit, while at the same time it was to check its missile capability," a South Korean official told Reuters about the military's initial assessment of the launch.
The missile was fired at a high angle and reached an altitude of 189 km (117 miles), the official added.
Any launch of objects using ballistic missile technology is a violation of U.N. Security Council resolutions. The North has defied the ban, saying it infringes its sovereign rights to self defense and the pursuit of space exploration.
The launch drew swift condemnation from Japan, with Prime Minister Shinzo Abe saying further provocative action was possible.