emfizz.com March 24, 2017

Donald Trump says N.Korea acting 'very, very badly'

21 March 2017, 01:55 | Terri Saunders

GETTY WARSHIP USS Stetham arrived off South Korea amid tensions with the North

USS Stetham

Mr Trump made the comments to reporters while departing his Mar-a-Lago resort in Florida, where he spent the weekend. North Korean State media said the country's latest rocket-engine tests were a "great leap forward", CNN reports, and Monday South Korean officials conceded Monday that the North's tests demonstrated "meaningful progress" in rocket-engine function. "I will tell you he is acting very, very badly", the U.S. president said.

But U.S. officials and experts have said recent activity by North Korea, including more than two dozen ballistic missile tests since past year, show the country is making alarming progress toward its stated goal of developing a nuclear-tipped missile that could target the U.S. mainland.

The weekend's experiment came as the top United States diplomat wrapped up his trip to Tokyo, Seoul and Beijing, having declared Washington would drop the "failed" approach of "strategic patience" with Pyongyang.

North Korea had conducted a ground jet test of a newly developed high-thrust missile engine, The New York Times reported today.

China has agreed reluctantly to U.N. Security Council resolutions sanctioning North Korea, but is adamantly opposed to measures that might bring about a collapse of North Korean leader Kim Jong Un's regime.

Observers suggest that the North has taken a "dangerous step" toward its goal of building a long-range missile capable of striking targets in the USA with a nuclear weapon.

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The South is pushing ahead on both fronts despite disapproval from North Korea's traditional ally China.

'It appears that North Korea has worked out much of its development of the first-stage rocket booster'.

The DPRK's Saturday could have been the "final test" of the carrier rocket for the geostationary satellite that was observed by Kim Jong Un in September previous year, Kim Dong-yup, a researcher at the Institute for Far Eastern Studies told NK News.

Sunday's test was a "precisely-timed spectacular", said Peter Hayes, director of the US-based Nautilus Institute, "the kind we've come to expect from Kim Jong Un".

Euan Graham, director of global security at Australia's Lowy Institute, said the North Korea's twin civilian and military rocket programs may have "become so sophisticated they're moving on separate tracks".

North Korea then barred nine Malaysians - three diplomats and their six family members - from leaving the country, prompting Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak to describe the action as "hostage" taking. However, analysts have long accused Pyongyang of using the program as a covert weapons testing scheme.

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