U.S. President Donald Trump on Monday criticized North Korea's latest ballistic missile test and indirectly urged China to rein in Pyongyang with "a heavy move."
"North Korea has just launched another missile. Does this guy have anything better to do with his life?" Trump wrote on Twitter, in an apparent rebuke to North Korean leader Kim Jong Un over the launch of what the U.S. Pacific Command said involved a land-based, intermediate range ballistic missile.
The provocation came ahead of a summit of the Group of 20 major economies later this week in Germany where Trump is expected to push Chinese President Xi Jinping to ramp up pressure on North Korea to curb its aggressive development of nuclear weapons and ballistic missiles.
The launch, which took place Tuesday morning local time, also came a day after Trump and Xi reaffirmed their commitment during telephone talks to a denuclearized Korean Peninsula.
"Perhaps China will put a heavy move on North Korea and end this nonsense once and for all!" Trump tweeted, implicitly urging Beijing to fully exert its influence and economic leverage over North Korea to change its provocative behavior.
Trump has expressed frustration over Beijing's perceived reluctance to impose tough sanctions on Pyongyang, saying in a recent tweet that Xi's agreement to cooperate with Trump over the North "has not worked out."
Referring to North Korea's repeated ballistic missile tests in violation of U.N. Security Council resolutions banning the country from conducting nuclear and missile activities, Trump said in Monday's tweet that he finds it "hard to believe that South Korea and Japan will put up with this much longer."
Aside from a planned bilateral meeting with Xi, Trump plans to hold trilateral talks with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and South Korean President Moon Jae In on the sidelines of the two-day G-20 summit starting Friday in Hamburg.
The United States "stands behind our ironclad commitment to the security of our allies in the Republic of Korea and Japan," the Pacific Command said in a statement, referring to South Korea by its formal name.
The Hawaii-based command is working with other U.S. government agencies on a more detailed assessment of North Korea's latest missile launch, it said.