Xi vows to address differences with South Korea

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North Korea fired several rockets into the sea Saturday in the continuation of its rapid nuclear and missile expansion, prompting South Korea to press ahead with military drills involving US troops that have angered Pyongyang.

Chinese President Xi Jinping said on Thursday that he is ready to make concerted efforts with his South Korean counterpart Moon Jae-in to address the differences between the two countries.

Two of the missiles flew about 150 miles while the other one appears to have blown up nearly instantly.

He said that military would "proceed more thoroughly" with the ongoing Ulchi Freedom Guardian exercise, a joint training drill between South Korea and the USA that started Monday.

"We need to see more on their part, but I want to acknowledge the steps they've taken thus far", he said.

Earlier, South Korea's Yonhap news agency said a ballistic missile may have been fired, without citing a source.

U.S. Pacific Command said three missiles were fired, and U.S. officials said the weapons didn't pose a threat to the United States, including its territory of Guam. We are working with our Interagency partners on a more detailed assessment and we will provide a public update if warranted. They say the North may limit its reactions to low-level provocations like artillery and short-range missile launches.

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Trump said Wednesday that Kim Jong-Un was "starting to respect" the United States, hours after Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said talks with the nuclear-armed North over its banned weapons programmes might be possible "in the near future".

The US is now in the middle of its annual joint military exercise with South Korea, that the North has called an invasion rehearsal.

At the time of the tests, North Korean state media showed leader Kim Jong Un overseeing a special forces operation which simulated strikes on South Korean islands, Ripley said.

Tillerson last week noted that North Korea has exercised "restraint" since the U.N. Security Council adopted new sanctions against the regime early this month.

Solid fuel missiles are faster and easier to deploy, and harder to catch before they launch because there's a lot less to be done in terms of launch preparation. North Korea has demonstrated significant advancements in its missile technology this year testing and is on a pace to test more missiles this year than in any previous calendar year.

Earlier this month, President Donald Trump issued an extraordinary ultimatum to North Korea, warning Pyongyang not to make any more threats against the USA or it will "face fire and fury like the world has never seen".

"In regards to activity in North Korea tonight, the president has been briefed and we are monitoring the situation", she said.

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