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North Korea Fires Another Missile, Just as Obama Prepares for Trilateral Meeting

The missile flew northeast for about 124 miles over the sea, South Korea's Yonhap News Agency said, while Obama will meet his South Korean and Japanese counterparts on Thursday to discuss North Korea.

by Reuters and VICE News
Mar 29 2016, 10:54am

An undated photograph made available on March 4, 2016, by the North Korean news agency KCNA showing the test-firing of new-type large-caliber multiple launch rocket system. Photo via KCNA/EPA

Read and watch more about North Korea in "March Madness," a VICE News special section on the Hermit Kingdom.

North Korea fired a short-range missile over the sea off its east coast on Tuesday, South Korea's Yonhap News Agency said, citing a military official.

The missile was fired from the North Korean resort town at Wonsan at 5.40pm (03.40am ET) and flew northeast for about 124 miles over the water before it appeared to make contact with land, Yonhap said.

Leader Kim Jong-un has presided over a string of short-range missile launches in recent weeks in what state media has characterized as a response to United Nations sanctions imposed upon the isolated country for its fourth nuclear test in January.

Meanwhile, the White House said on Monday that US President Barack Obama would meet South Korean President Park Geun-hye and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe on Thursday to discuss North Korea's nuclear program.

The meeting on the sidelines of the Nuclear Security Summit in Washington will take place the same day Obama talks with Chinese President Xi Jinping.

Related: North Korea Is Experimenting with a Different Kind of Rocket Fuel for Better Missiles

"This meeting will be an opportunity for the three leaders to discuss common responses to the threat posed by North Korea and to advance areas of trilateral security cooperation in the region and globally," the White House said in a statement.

Relations between Park and Abe have been frosty in the past, but the two have been brought together in recent months by shared concerns about North Korea, which conducted a fourth nuclear bomb test on January 6 and launched a long-range rocket into space last month.

The US has been keen to encourage better relations between Seoul and Japan, its two biggest allies in Asia, given concerns not only about North Korea but also an increasingly assertive China.

Beijing has said Xi will push Obama to resume talks on the North Korean nuclear issue. Their meeting could also touch on US concerns about Chinese computer hacking and Beijing's assertive pursuit of territory in the South China Sea.

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