North Korea Tests Missile As Trump Meets With Japan's Prime Minister

North Korea launched an intermediate-range missile toward Japan.
Posted at 2:23 PM, Feb 12, 2017

North Korea fired a missile toward Japan just days after the U.S. and Japan urged the country to end its missile program.

North Korea's test, which happened early Sunday local time, appears to have been for a midrange Musudan missile. The rocket reportedly traveled about 300 miles before crashing into the Sea of Japan.

Experts told CNN the test was likely a technical failure. But they added these missile launches also have political motivations. 

Broadly speaking, the experts say the launches could be timed to send a message to other countries as well as help North Korean leader Kim Jong-un gain support back home.

South Korean analysts were expecting some kind of military provocation. Kim Jong-un's late father's birthday is on the 16th, and in two weeks, the U.S. and South Korea are set to begin their largest-ever joint military exercises.

The test came as U.S. President Donald Trump and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe met in Florida. In a joint statement, Abe called the test "absolutely intolerable." Trump kept his response to one sentence.

"The United States of America stands behind Japan, a great ally, 100 percent," Trump said.

The Trump administration is said to be undergoing a complete review of existing policies on North Korea.