Russia, China offer plan to ease North Korea tension

South Korean army's K-9 self-propelled howitzers move during an annual exercise in Paju, near the border with North Korea, South Korea, Tuesday, July 4, 2017. North Korea claimed to have tested its first intercontinental ballistic missile in a launch Tuesday, a potential game-changing development in its push to militarily challenge Washington — but a declaration that conflicts with earlier South Korean and U.S. assessments that it had an intermediate range. (AP Photo/Ahn Young-joon)

SEOUL, South Korea (AP) – The Latest on North Korea’s missile launch (all times local North Korea):

10 p.m.

Russia and China have proposed that North Korea declare a moratorium on nuclear and missile tests while the United States and South Korea refrain from large-scale military exercises.

The call was issued in a joint statement by the Russian and Chinese foreign ministries on Tuesday following talks between Russian President Vladimir Putin and Chinese President Xi Jinping.

The statement came after North Korea tested a missile that flew higher and longer than previous ones, sparking concerns around the world.

Moscow and Beijing suggested that if North Korea halts nuclear and missile tests while the U.S. and South Korea freeze military maneuvers, the parties could sit down for talks that should lead to obligations not to use force and to refrain from aggression.

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8 p.m.

South Koreans expressed concern over increased tensions on the Korean Peninsula as they watched news of North Korea’s announcement that it successfully launched its first intercontinental ballistic missile.

Company employee Park Choul, watching the news Tuesday at Seoul’s train station, said he worried the relationship between South and North Korea will become even more strained.

Retiree Kwak Tae-young criticized North Korea for developing nuclear weapons for possible use against fellow Koreans, and urged North Korean leader Kim Jong Un to halt the program. He said he hoped for the peaceful unification of the Korean Peninsula.

A professor of North Korean Studies at Dongguk University, Koh Yu-hwan, said North Korea’s missile and nuclear programs could provoke a military response from South Korea and the U.S., increasing tension in the region.

North Korea’s neighbors are studying its claim that it tested its first ICBM on Tuesday. The launch appeared to be the North’s most successful missile test yet. A U.S. scientist examining its height and distance said it could be powerful enough to reach Alaska.

6:30 p.m.

South Korea’s military says it is analyzing with the United States whether North Korea really has test-fired an intercontinental ballistic missile.

Cho Han Gyu, director of operations at South Korea’s Joint Chiefs of Staff, told a televised briefing that South Korean and U.S. intelligence authorities are determining whether a missile launched Tuesday has ICBM capability, as North Korea claims.

The launch was the latest in a series of tests by North Korea as it works to develop a nuclear-tipped missile that could reach the United States.

Cho said the missile demonstrated an improved range over an intermediate-range missile that North Korea tested on May 14.

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5:55 p.m.

North Korean citizens in the capital are praising their country’s launch of what it called its first intercontinental ballistic missile.

Soon after the authoritarian government announced Tuesday that it had fired the missile that morning, a 38-year-old Pyongyang man named Ri Song Gil said his country “can attack anywhere in the world.” He added, “Now, the time when the U.S. could threaten the world with nuclear weapons has passed away.”

Twenty-seven-year-old Kim Hye Ok calls the launch “extremely delightful news” and says North Korea “will march forward along our own way” despite international sanctions.

The launch appeared to be the North’s most successful missile test yet. A U.S. scientist examining its height and distance said it could be powerful enough to reach Alaska.

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5:50 p.m.

China says it opposes North Korean missile launches that violate U.N. Security Council resolutions.

Foreign Ministry spokesman Geng Shuang told reporters Tuesday that his country was collecting information about North Korea’s latest launch, conducted earlier in the day.

North Korea announced that it had tested an intercontinental ballistic missile, though that claim could not be immediately verified. The missile flew about 930 kilometers (580 miles) and fell into the Sea of Japan.

Geng said that China urges “the North Korean side to stop taking actions that violate Security Council resolutions and to create the necessary conditions for the resumption of talks.”

He also defended China’s efforts to try to resolve the North Korean nuclear issue. He said that China’s role is indispensable, and that its contribution in that regard is recognized.

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5 p.m.

Japan’s government spokesman says it is still studying North Korea’s claim that it successfully tested an intercontinental ballistic missile.

Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga (yoh-shi-hee-deh soo-gah) said Tuesday that Japan is “carefully analyzing the maximum distance of its flight.”

Suga said the missile landed about 300 kilometers (500 miles) off Oga Peninsula on Japan’s northwestern coast.

North Korea announced that it tested an intercontinental ballistic missile earlier Tuesday. It is part of a string of recent tests as it works to develop a nuclear-tipped missile that could reach the United States.

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4:30 p.m.

North Korea says its latest missile test reached a height of 2,802 kilometers (1,740 miles) and flew 933 kilometers (580 miles) for 39 minutes before falling into the sea.

The country’s Academy of Defense Science said Tuesday in a statement that it was a successful test of an intercontinental ballistic missiles called Hwasong-14.

The statement was distributed by North Korea’s KCNA news service.

The reported trajectory was similar to that announced earlier by U.S., South Korean and Japanese officials, though the U.S. judged it to be an intermediate-range missile.

Either way, it would be a longer and higher flight than similar tests previously reported.

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12:30 p.m.

The U.S military says it tracked a North Korean missile for 37 minutes before it landed in the Sea of Japan.

The Hawaii-based U.S. Pacific Command said in a statement Tuesday that an intermediate-range ballistic missile was launched from near an airfield in North Korea.

NORAD, or the North American Aerospace Defense Command, said the missile did not pose a threat to North America.

South Korean and Japanese officials reported the North Korean missile launch earlier Tuesday. It is part of a string of recent tests as the North works to build a nuclear-tipped missile that could reach the United States.

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11:30 a.m.

President Donald Trump has tweeted about North Korea’s latest ballistic missile launch.

He wrote in two consecutive tweets: “Does this guy have anything better to do with his life? Hard to believe that South Korea and Japan will put up with this much longer. Perhaps China will put a heavy move on North Korea and end this nonsense once and for all!”

South Korean and Japanese officials say North Korea launched a ballistic missile Tuesday morning that is believed to have landed in the Sea of Japan. It is part of a string of recent test-firings as the North works to build a nuclear-tipped missile that could reach the United States.

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10:30 a.m.

Japanese officials say a ballistic missile fired from North Korea’s western coast is believed to have landed in Japan’s exclusive economic zone.

Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga told reporters the missile was fired around 9:40 a.m. Tuesday and flew for 40 minutes before landing in the Sea of Japan within waters where Japan claims economic rights.

He said no damage to aircraft or ships has been reported. Japanese media said the coast guard had cautioned ships about potential falling objects.

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10 a.m.

South Korean officials say North Korea launched another ballistic missile in the direction of Japan, part of a string of recent test-firings as the North works to build a nuclear-tipped missile that could reach the United States.

The South’s Joint Chiefs of Staff said in a statement that the launch was made from North Phyongan province. Other details were scarce. It wasn’t immediately clear if this was a routine firing of a short-range missile or an attempt to perfect North Korea’s longer-range missiles.

Just last week South Korean President Moon Jae-in and U.S. President Donald Trump focused much of their first meeting on opposing North Korea’s development of atomic weapons that threaten both allies.

(Copyright 2017 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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