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European Union expands sanctions against North Korea as Trump meets Xi

European Union expands sanctions against North Korea as Trump meets Xi

The hardened United States stance followed recent North Korean missile launches that North Korea described as practice for an attack on United States bases in Japan.

On Wednesday, it fired a newly developed missile into the sea, this time on the eve of the first meeting between President Donald Trump and his Chinese counterpart, Xi Jinping.

"Pyongyang's evolving ballistic missile and nuclear weapons program underscore the growing threat", Hyten said.

A press statement agreed to by all 15 members expresses "utmost concern" at North Korea's "highly destabilizing behavior and flagrant and provocative defiance of the Security Council" by conducting the latest launch less than three weeks after the previous test.

It follows ballistic missile tests in February and March, as the isolated country defies United Nations sanctions and works on a missile that could deliver a miniaturized nuclear weapon to the continental U.S.

The U.S. president has said Beijing can do more to rein in North Korea.

Additionally, lawmakers agreed to bar European Union entities from offering computer services within North Korea and banned services linked to manufacturing in the chemical, mining and refining industry, given leader Kim Jong-un's nuclear ambitions.

According to Seoul-based Yonhap News on Thursday, citing a defense source, the missile tested was a Hyunmoo missile and the test took place at the missile test site of the Agency for Defense Development in Anheung, Gyeonggi-do Province.

North Korea has stepped up the frequency of missile and nuclear weapons tests over the past two years and experts say it is closing in on the ability to hit the United States with a missile.

Two weeks ago, the South Korean and USA militaries said they detected what they called a failed North Korean ballistic missile launch.

The US military said it was a KN-15 medium-range ballistic missile which they had determined posed no threat to America.

"I've joked before that they don't mind being hated but they definitely hate to be ignored", Cossa said. North Korea fired the ballistic missile into the Sea of Japan on Wednesday in what was seen as a warning ahead of the US-China summit.

Photos taken by the club's patrons and later posted on Facebook captured Japanese and US officials responding in real-time to the incident, sparking criticism about why such important meetings were not conducted in a more secure location.

A White House official also said on Tuesday that "all options are on the table" for the USA, though the official would not say what steps Trump was willing to take to curb dictator Kim Jong-un's pursuit of a nuclear weapon.


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