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Trump and Japan's prime minister condemned the North Korean missile test

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UPDATE  9:11 a.m.: ABC News reporter Jon Karl said the White House had "no doubt" North Korea intentionally timed the missile launch with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's visit to the U.S. 

UPDATE 8:50 a.m. Feb. 12:

President Trump and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe condemned North Korea's ballistic missile test in a joint statement on Saturday night.

"The United States of America stands behind Japan, its great ally, 100 percent," Trump said. Last week, Defense Secretary James Mattis said any attempt by North Korea to test a nuclear weapon would be met with an "overwhelming" response. 

Abe called the launch "absolutely intolerable."

Joint Statment by President Trump and Prime Minister Shinzō Abe

WATCH | Here's the full statement.

Last month, Trump said a North Korean nuclear test "won't happen."

This was no surprise. The North Korean leader likes to draw attention at times like this.
Anonymous U.S. official, to Reuters

Reuters reported the U.S. was likely to ramp up pressure on China to control North Korea as a result.

 This came a day after Abe and Trump met at his resort in South Florida. 

ORIGINAL STORY:

North Korea launched an intermediate range ballistic missile on Sunday morning from North Pyongan Province, a source within the South Korean Ministry of Defense told CNN. The information came from a statement issued by the South Korean Joint Chiefs of Staff.

It traveled about 500km or so before crashing into the sea, according to CNN international correspondent Matt Rivers. The flight path of the missile remains unclear.

The State Department said it is aware of reports and is monitoring the situation.


Meanwhile, President Trump is hosting Japanese Prime Minister Abe and his representatives at his Mar-a-lago estate in Palm Beach, FL. North Korea's launching of a ballistic missile is being described as the 45th commander-in-chief's first major foreign policy challenge.

Reporters' questions directed to Trump during a photo-op at his Florida estate were ignored.

Harry J. Kazianis, the director of Defense Studies at the Center for the National Interest, said North Korean leaders have been working throughout the past decade to develop a range of short, medium and long-range missiles with the capability of hitting South Korea, Japan and the US.

"To make matters even worse North Korea is desperate to arm such missiles with a nuclear warhead, the ultimate nightmare for the Asia-Pacific and the United States," he added.


Kazianis also explained it is vital for the Trump administration to take a declarative stance to ensure that "Pyongyang’s aggressive actions are punished."

The news of the launch follows a chilling New Year's address made by Kim Jong Un's in early January in which he  said that North Korea has "entered the final stage of preparation for the test launch of intercontinental ballistic missile."

President Trump tweeted in response, "It won't happen!"

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