Protests in South Korea as nations wrestle with North missile threat

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un inspects a long and medium-range ballistic rocket launch drill in this undated

North Korea's Sunday test was its most powerful to date and widely condemned by the global community, with the Mexican government saying on Thursday that it declared the country's ambassador, Kim Hyong-gil, persona non grata, and gave him 72 hours to leave Mexico.

Abe, who will meet later in the day with Putin, said before his departure from Japan that "we must make North Korea understand there is no bright future for the country if it pursues the current path".

On Thursday and Friday, the US and South Korea are set to conduct a joint anti-submarine drill, Yonhap news agency reported. He said earlier this year that the battery will protect 10 million South Koreans in the area outside of Seoul in addition to US bases and vital seaports.

This comes at a time of heightened tensions between the USA and North Korea, following the latter's recent missile tests, which Pyongyang called "gift packages" to the United States. In July it launched two intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBMs) that appeared to bring much of the USA mainland within range.

"Mattis and Song discussed avenues for improving bilateral, trilateral, and regional defense cooperation in light of the threat posed by North Korea and to maintain peace and stability in Northeast Asia and the broader Asia-Pacific region", she said.

Tension on the Korean peninsula has escalated as North Korea's young leader, Kim Jong Un, has stepped up the development of weapons, testing a string of missiles this year, including one flying over Japan, and conducting its sixth nuclear test on Sunday. The July date refers to the intercontinental ballistic missile test.


U.S. Secretary of State, Rex Tillerson, said on Thursday that if North Korea wants a response after a nuclear attack, "there will be one".

South Korea is also working on a 'decapitation strike' team that would be deployed to eliminate the North's leadership if war broke out.

South Korea and the United States are technically still at war with North Korea after the 1950-53 Korean conflict ended with a truce, not a peace treaty.

Moon earlier called for a ban on overseas North Korean workers, who are a key foreign currency source for the North, but Putin said problem should be solved diplomatically, according to Seoul's presidential office. That is the best way to keep the so-called "balance of terror" in the Korean Peninsula. China and Russian Federation have been calling for talks, saying sanctions aren't working against North Korea. It also provides hundreds of thousands of tonnes of oil and fuel to the impoverished regime.

Two launchers and a powerful radar are already in place at the site as part of the U.S. Terminal High Altitude Area Defence (THAAD) system.

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