A pedestrian in Tokyo passes a TV screen broadcasting news of North Korea's latest missile launch.
A pedestrian in Tokyo passes a TV screen broadcasting news of North Korea's latest missile launch. FRANCK ROBICHON

Kim offers US bigger 'gift package'

HAVING supervised the test of a ballistic missile controlled by a precision guidance system and ordered the development of more powerful strategic weapons, Kim Jong-un has again taunted the US.

The North Korean leader has expressed conviction his country will "make a greater leap forward in this spirit to send bigger 'gift package' to the Yankees” in retaliation for US military provocation, state-run KCNA reported.

On Monday, the nuclear- armed regime launched its 12th ballistic missile test this year, using a new advanced automated pre-launch sequence for the Hwasong rockets - Scud-class missiles - KCNA said.

The missile landed in waters close to Japan, with KCNA describing the test-firing as "successful”.

The test, reportedly overseen by Mr Kim, was the country's third missile test in less than three weeks and carried out in defiance of UN sanctions and US warnings of possible military action.

"The ballistic rocket flew toward the east sky where the day broke and correctly hit a planned target point ... after flying over the middle shooting range,” the report said.

South Korean officials said the missile travelled east for 450km and fell into Japan's exclusive economic zone.

China has condemned the North's nuclear program and urged Pyongyang and Washington to stay calm and "stop irritating each other”.

US President Donald Trump took to Twitter to condemn the test, saying it disrespected China.

"North Korea has shown great disrespect for their neighbour, China, by shooting off yet another ballistic missile ... but China is trying hard!” Mr Trump said in the tweet.

Pyongyang has made clear its intention to develop an intercontinental ballistic missile that can deliver a nuclear warhead to continental America.

The US Navy has reportedly ordered a third nuclear-powered aircraft carrier to the Korean Peninsula amid increasing tensions.

Sources told news outlet the Voice of America that the USS Nimitz, which can carry 90 aircraft, would join the USS Carl Vinson and the USS Ronald Reagan in the volatile region.

The Times of San Diego reported that the navy rarely deploys three aircraft carriers to the same region.

At last week's G7 summit in Italy, President Trump declared the "big problem” of North Korea would "be solved”, having previously warned that no option was off the table.

In an interview with US network CBS on the weekend, US Secretary of Defence James Mattis said a war with North Korea would be "catastrophic” and "probably the worst kind of fighting in most people's lifetimes ... if we're not able to resolve this situation through diplomatic means”.

And North Korea showed its view on that by conducting its latest missile test just a few hours later.

- staff writers