North Korea's latest submarine missile test makes it urgent for US President Barack Obama and other East Asia leaders to discuss the threat when they hold an annual regional summit next week, the State Department's top Asia official said Tuesday.
Assistant Secretary of State Daniel Russel made the remark during a Foreign Press Center briefing to preview Obama's upcoming trip to China for a summit of the Group of 20 nations and then to Laos for a series of regional summits, including the East Asia Summit.
"The submarine launch of a ballistic missile by the DPRK in direct violation of international law and its obligations under UN Security Council Resolutions, as well as a spate of missile launches that preceded it, makes this conversation all the more urgent," Russel said of next week's East Asia Summit.
"This behavior, among other things, threatens civil aviation and maritime commerce in the region, and it's necessary for the leaders to engage very directly on that threat," he said without elaborating.
The North successfully conducted an SLBM test last week, sending the missile, designated a KN-11, some 500 kilometers over the East Sea, the greatest distance the communist nation has achieved since it began SLBM tests last year.
Moreover, the missile was launched at a high angle, meaning the missile could have flown farther, possibly more than 1,000 km, if it had been fired at a regular angle. (Yonhap)