North Korea defied the international community yet again with its latest missile test on Friday. US President Donald Trump and South Korean President Moon Jae-In want to up the ante against Pyongyang.

Donald Trump takes a call on his smartphone.

US President Donald Trump and South Korean President Moon Jae-in “gravely condemned” North Korea’s latest missile test on Thursday and promised “stronger” sanctions on Pyongyang during a phone conversation on Sunday, a South Korean government spokesman said after the call.

South Korean President Moon Jae-inSouth Korean President Moon Jae-in wants stronger pressure against its northern neighbor.

“The two leaders agreed to strengthen cooperation, and exert stronger and practical sanctions on North Korea so that it realizes provocative actions leads to further diplomatic isolation and economic pressure,” presidential spokesman Park Soo-hyun said during a televised briefing.

North Korea fired an intermediate-range missile over Japan, a US ally, early Thursday morning, which the UN Security Council said was “highly provocative” and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe condemned as threatening to world peace.

The international community has attempted to increase pressure on North Korea in recent weeks in response to its sixth and most powerful nuclear test on September 3. That test prompted the UN Security Council to pass sanctions banning textile exports and restricting oil exports to the isolated Asian country.

A North Korean missile.North Korea conducted its latest missile test on Friday.

Pyongyang’s nuclear and missile programs have significantly advanced since its first nuclear test in 2006. The latest nuclear test was five to six times more powerful than the last, according to South Korea’s Meteorological Administration.

North Korea’s leaders have repeatedly said they need nuclear weapons to defend themselves against “hostile” US forces, 35,000 of which are stationed in South Korea.

ap/jil (AFP, Reuters)



Courtesy, DW