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Snapshot: What Trump’s budget does agency-by-agency

The White House has proposed cutting the Education Dept. in half, EPA by a third, and the Justice Department by a fifth but nearly all departments would see cuts if this budget is passed.

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Budget Director Mick Mulvaney speak to the media about President Donald Trump's proposed fiscal 2018 federal budget in the Press Briefing Room of the White House in Washington, Tuesday, May 23, 2017. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)

How President Donald Trump’s proposed $4.1 trillion federal spending plan would affect individual government agencies.

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AGRICULTURE

Up or down? Down 5 percent

Graphic shows Trump FY 2018 budget breakdown

Highlight: The proposed budget would limit subsidies to farmers, including a cut in government help for purchasing crop insurance. Crop insurance is an overwhelmingly popular program with farm-state senators in both parties, and previous farm bills have only increased spending. The budget would also limit spending on environmentally friendly conservation programs and some rural development dollars that help small towns build infrastructure.

Trump isn’t the first president to try to limit farm subsidies. Presidents Barack Obama and George W. Bush also proposed major reductions, but farm-state lawmakers have always kept them going. The Republican chairmen of the Senate and House agriculture committees both said Tuesday they oppose Trump’s proposed cuts.

Total spending: $132.3 billion.

Spending that needs Congress’ annual approval: $18 billion.

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COMMERCE

Up or down? Down 15.4 percent

Highlight: The budget would eliminate three economic development agencies and several grant programs aimed at preserving the environment and dealing with climate change. The Minority Business Development Agency, the Economic Development Administration and the Manufacturing Extension Partnership would be eliminated.

The budget would also eliminate several grant programs run by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration: the Sea Grant, the National Estuarine Research Reserve System, Coastal Zone Management Grants, the Office of Education and the Pacific Coastal Salmon Recovery Fund.

Total spending: $8 billion.

Spending that needs Congress’ annual approval: $7.8 billion.

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DEFENSE

Up or down? Up 3.3 percent

Highlight: The Pentagon’s proposed 2018 budget would fund increases of almost 43,000 in the size of the active duty military and 13,000 in the Reserves. It provides troops a 2.1 percent pay raise, adds F/A-18 fighter jets and seeks a new round of base closures, which Congress routinely rejects. It also increases the amount of money used for training Afghan forces and conducting counterterror operations in Afghanistan. The budget includes $64.6 billion for military operations in Iraq, Syria, Afghanistan and Africa.

Total spending: $647 billion.

Spending that needs Congress’ annual approval: $639.1 billion.

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EDUCATION

Up or down? Down 46.9 percent

Highlight: Eliminates after-school and teacher training programs, ends subsidized federal student loans and loan forgiveness programs for public servants, funds year-round Pell grants and expands funding for school choice for low-income students.

Total spending: $61 billion

Spending that needs Congress’ annual approval: $59 billion

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ENERGY

Up or Down? Down 5.7 percent

Highlight: Trump’s budget would sell off nearly half the nation’s Strategic Petroleum Reserve, 270 million barrels, over the next 10 years as a way to reduce the budget deficit. The reserve is an emergency fuel storage maintained underground in Louisiana and Texas. Budget director Mick Mulvaney said the sale would not cause a security risk because of an increase in oil production from fracking. The administration says the plan would bring in a projected $17 billion over 10 years.

The budget also would hike spending for the National Nuclear Security Administration, which is responsible for maintaining the nuclear stockpile, while cutting other energy spending. The budget seeks $120 million to revive the mothballed Yucca Mountain nuclear waste repository, which is hugely unpopular in Nevada and was largely stopped by the efforts of former Democratic Sen. Harry Reid.

Total spending: $28 billion

Spending that needs Congress’ annual approval: $28 billion

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ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY

Up or down? Down 31 percent.

Highlight: The budget cuts EPA by nearly one-third, eliminating more than 3,800 jobs while imposing dramatic cuts to clean air and water programs. Adjusted for inflation, the proposed budget would represent the nation’s lowest funding for environmental protection since the mid-1970s. The Superfund pollution cleanup program would be cut by $330 million, to $762 million.

Total spending: $5.7 billion.

Spending that needs Congress’ annual approval: $5.7 billion.

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HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES

Up or down? Down 1.3 percent

Highlight: The budget initiates deep cuts to health insurance programs for people with modest incomes, including coverage for children. Those cuts would go beyond the House GOP bill that repeals much of the Affordable Care Act, also known as “Obamacare,” and limits future federal financing for Medicaid.

Total spending: $1.1 trillion

Spending that needs Congress’ annual approval: $65.3 billion

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HOMELAND SECURITY

Up or down? Down 3.2 percent

Highlight: The budget asks Congress for $2.6 billion for border security that would include a down payment for Trump’s long-promised wall and increased technology along the U.S.-Mexican border. The budget calls for $314 million to hire 500 new Border Patrol agents and 1,000 agents for Immigration and Customs Enforcement. It also requests a $1.5 billion increase for ICE to arrest, detain and deport immigrants in the country illegally. The plan also proposes cutting about $667 million in grants administered by the Federal Emergency Management Agency. That includes proposed cuts to the Urban Area Security Initiative and eliminating the Transportation Security Administration’s law enforcement grants.

Total spending: $49.4 billion

Spending that needs Congress’ annual approval: $44.1 billion

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HOUSING AND URBAN DEVELOPMENT

Up or down? Down 22.9 percent

Highlight: The budget would eliminate HUD’s Community Development Block Grant program, a $3 billion effort that funds local improvement projects, affordable housing construction and other social supports like meals for seniors and enrichment programs for low-income children. The budget proposal says the program is not well targeted to poor populations and hasn’t showed measurable impact on communities. The administration’s budget also seeks to cut costs to the department’s rental assistance programs — a $2 billion decrease to $35.2 billion. Rental assistance programs comprise about 80 percent of the agency’s total funding.

Total spending: $40 billion.

Estimated spending that needs Congress’ annual approval: $40 billion.

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INTERIOR

Up or Down? Down 9.2 percent

Highlight: The budget calls for opening Alaska’s Arctic National Wildlife Refuge to oil and gas drilling, where it is now prohibited, while eliminating offshore oil revenues used by Gulf Coast states to restore disappearing shorelines. Arctic drilling, a contentious issue that would require congressional approval, would generate an estimated $400 million a year in tax revenues by 2022, according to the White House. Elimination of revenue-sharing to the four Gulf Coast states — Alabama, Louisiana, Mississippi and Texas — would generate $1.6 billion over the next five years, the document says. The proposal also includes money for seismic surveys to provide data for possible offshore drilling in the Atlantic Ocean where it is now barred.

The budget would cut $10 million from a program to manage wild horses and burros in the West and allow the Bureau of Land Management to sell or euthanize thousands of horses that now roam in Nevada, Oregon and other western states. More than 70,000 wild horses and burros roam federal lands across the West, a number that officials call unsustainable.

Total spending: $12.5 billion

Spending that needs Congress’ annual approval: $11.7 billion

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JUSTICE

Up or down? Down 19.1 percent

Highlight: The budget adds $26 million for 300 new assistant U.S. attorneys to fight gangs, violent crime and illegal immigration. Attorney General Jeff Sessions has identified those areas as his top priorities. The plan calls for 230 of these prosecutors to be stationed in yet-to-be-named cities deemed hot spots for violence.

Another 70 will be assigned to border states, focusing on those who enter and re-enter the country illegally after deportation, as well as document-fraud, human smuggling, drug trafficking and other immigration-related offenses.

Total spending: $31.6 billion.

Spending that needs Congress’ annual approval: $27.7 billion

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LABOR

Up or down? Down 3.3 percent.

Highlight: Trump is proposing cuts in job training programs including $434 million for the Senior Community Service Employment Program, $238 million by closing Job Corps centers, and $68 million for the Bureau of International Labor Affairs. He is proposing $90 million for apprenticeships that result in jobs and a parental leave program of six weeks.

Total spending: $45.8 billion.

Spending that needs Congress’ annual approval: $9.7 billion

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NASA

Up or down? Down 1.2 percent

Highlight: The budget cancels five planned missions to observe Earth and monitor climate change, saving $191 million. It eliminates an Obama-era mission to send astronauts to an asteroid. It also slashes NASA education spending by two-thirds and makes smaller cuts to exploration and space operations, along with increases in spending to explore other planets.

Total spending: $19.1 billion.

Spending that needs Congress’ annual approval: $19.1 billion

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STATE

Up or down? Down 31.7 percent

Highlight: Eliminates funding for the U.N. children’s agency, UNICEF, as part of a $780 million cut to international organizations. Also eliminates $1.6 billion in funding for climate change and slashes assistance for refugees and global health. That includes $222 million cut in an international fund for fighting AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria. Proposal also ends $523 million for international family planning programs.

Total spending: $40.2 billion.

Spending that needs Congress’ annual approval: $40.2 billion, includes $12 billion from the Overseas Contingency Account.

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TRANSPORTATION

Up or down? Down 2.2 percent.

Highlight: Trump proposes that the government pay $200 billion toward the $1 trillion cost of improving the nation’s infrastructure — rebuilding aging roads, bridges, water systems and more. Private investments would pay the rest, under his plan. He’s also suggesting cutting grants to Amtrak long distance services by $630 million and reducing the Highway Trust Fund by $95 billion over a decade.

Total spending: $75.7 billion

Spending that needs Congress’ annual approval: $16.2 billion

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TREASURY

Up or down? Up 6.7 percent

Highlight: Treasury oversees the Internal Revenue Service and the agency responsible for managing the government’s payment systems. The IRS would see a 2.1 percent budget cut, but says it will continue to seek less costly ways of delivering taxpayer services. Trump’s budget would provide increased investment for cybersecurity as well as implementing the sanctions program to combat terrorist financing. The budget would also seek initial funding to replace the aging Washington facility for the Bureau of Engraving and Printing that produces the nation’s paper currency.

Total spending: $601 billion

Spending that needs Congress’ annual approval: $12.1 billion

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VETERANS AFFAIRS

Up or down? Up 3.7 percent

Highlight: The budget proposes a $4.3 billion increase in discretionary spending, mostly to pay for medical care at more than 1,200 VA facilities nationwide serving about 9 million enrolled veterans. That’s a 5.8 percent increase as the Department of Veterans Affairs expands its network to include more private health providers. The budget also calls for $2.9 billion in mandatory budget authority for 2018 and $3.5 billion in 2019 to pay for expansion of the Veterans Choice private-sector program. To help pay for rising costs from that program, the VA would cap the amount of educational benefits veterans receive under the GI bill to roughly $21,000 a year and halt “individual unemployability” benefit payments to out-of-work disabled veterans once they reach retirement age.

Total spending: $183.1 billion

Spending that needs Congress’ annual approval: $78.8 billion

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20 cities primed on the Amazon wishlist to be its next HQ

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NEW YORK (AP) — Amazon’s second home could be in an already tech-heavy city, such as Boston, New York or Austin, Texas. Or it could be in the Midwest, say, Indianapolis or Columbus, Ohio. Or the company could go outside the U.S. altogether and set up shop in Toronto.

Those six locations, as well as 14 others, made it onto Amazon’s not-so-short shortlist Thursday of places under consideration for the online retailing giant’s second headquarters.

The 20 picks, narrowed down from 238 proposals, are concentrated mostly in the East and the Midwest and include several of the biggest metro areas in the country, such as Chicago, Washington and Los Angeles, the only West Coast city on the list.

The Seattle-based company set off fierce competition last fall when it announced that it was looking for a second home, promising 50,000 jobs and construction spending of more than $5 billion. Many cities drew up elaborate presentations that included rich financial incentives.

The list of finalists highlights a key challenge facing the U.S. economy: Jobs and economic growth are increasingly concentrated in a few large metro areas, mostly on the East and West Coasts and a few places in between, such as Texas.

Nearly all the cities on Amazon’s list already have growing economies, low unemployment and highly educated populations.

“Amazon has picked a bunch of winners,” said Richard Florida, an economic development expert and professor at the University of Toronto who helped develop that city’s bid. “It really reflects winner-take-all urbanism.”

Among those that didn’t make the cut were Detroit, a disappointment for those excited about progress since the city came out of bankruptcy, and Memphis, Tennessee, where the mayor said the city gave it its “best shot.” San Diego also failed to advance.

“Getting from 238 to 20 was very tough,” said Holly Sullivan, who oversees Amazon’s public policy. “All the proposals showed tremendous enthusiasm and creativity.”

Amazon said it will make a final selection sometime this year.

Besides Austin, another Texas city made the cut: Dallas. In the South, Miami and Atlanta are being considered.

Officials in cities that made the shortlist took the opportunity to further tout their locations, with Philadelphia’s mayor noting “all that Philadelphia has to offer” and officials in and around Pittsburgh citing the region’s “world-class talent pool” and other advantages.

Other contenders among the 20 include Denver; Montgomery County, Maryland; Nashville, Tennessee; Newark, New Jersey; Northern Virginia; and Raleigh, North Carolina.

“It’s a long list for a shortlist,” said Jed Kolko, chief economist at job site Indeed.

He said Amazon may use the list to pit the locations against each other and get better tax breaks or other incentives. Two metro areas, New York and Washington, have more than one location on the list, increasing the competition there, he said.

“It’s hard to say whether all these places are in play or Amazon wanted to encourage continued competition,” Kolko said.

Amazon did not immediately respond to a request for comment on whether locations would be able to change their proposals or offer better incentives, but said in a statement that it will “work with each of the candidate locations to dive deeper into their proposals.”

State and local governments played up the amenities they think make their locations the best choice. Some pulled off stunts to stand out, such as New York, which lit the Empire State Building in Amazon orange.

Some gimmicks didn’t work: Tucson, Arizona, which sent a 21-foot cactus to Seattle, did not make the list. Neither did Birmingham, Alabama, which installed giant replicas of Amazon’s Dash buttons.

The company had stipulated that it wanted to be near a metropolitan area with more than 1 million people, and nearly all of those on the shortlist have a metro population of at least double that.

Amazon also wanted to be able to attract top technical talent; be within 45 minutes of an international airport; have direct access to mass transit; and be able to expand the headquarters to as much as 8 million square feet in the next decade.

But Amazon also made it very clear it wanted tax breaks, grants and any other incentives.

Boston’s offer includes $75 million for affordable housing for Amazon employees and others. Before leaving office Tuesday, Gov. Chris Christie approved a measure to allow New Jersey to offer up to $5 billion to Amazon. Newark is also proposing $2 billion in tax breaks.

But many of the state and local governments competing for the headquarters have refused to disclose the financial incentives they offered. Of the 20 finalists, 13, including New York, Chicago and Miami, declined requests from The Associated Press to release their applications. Toronto’s mayor said Thursday that the city offered no financial incentives to woo Amazon.

Several said they don’t want their competitors to know what they’re offering, a stance that open-government advocates criticized.

Amazon plans to remain in its sprawling Seattle headquarters, and the second home base will be “a full equal” to it, founder and CEO Jeff Bezos has said.

The extra space will give the rapidly growing company room to spread out. It had nearly 542,000 employees at the end of September, a 77 percent jump from the year before. Some of that growth came from Amazon’s nearly $14 billion acquisition last year of the Whole Foods grocery chain and its 89,000 employees.

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Associated Press writers Josh Cornfield in Philadelphia, Matt O’Brien in Providence, Rhode Island, and Rob Gillies in Toronto contributed to this report. Rugaber contributed from Washington.

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Tourism still booms in Cuba but Trump’s tougher stance hurting private entrepreneurs

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HAVANA (AP) — On a sweltering early summer afternoon in Miami’s Little Havana, President Donald Trump told a cheering Cuban-American crowd that he was rolling back some of Barack Obama’s opening to Cuba in order to starve the island’s military-run economy of U.S. tourism dollars and ratchet up pressure for regime change.

That doesn’t appear to be happening. Travel to Cuba is booming from dozens of countries, including the U.S. And the tourism dollars from big-spending Americans seem to be heading into Cuba’s state sector and away from private business, according to Cuban state figures, experts and private business people themselves.

The government figures show that 2017 was a record year for tourism, with 4.7 million visitors pumping more than $3 billion into the island’s otherwise struggling economy. The number of American travelers rose to 619,000, more than six times the pre-Obama level. But amid the boom — an 18 percent increase over 2016 — owners of private restaurants and bed-and-breakfasts are reporting a sharp drop-off.

“There was an explosion of tourists in the months after President Obama’s detente announcement. They were everywhere!” said Rodolfo Morales, a retired government worker who rents two rooms in his home for about $30 a night. “Since then, it’s fallen off.”

The ultimate destination of American tourism spending in Cuba seems an obscure data point, but it’s highly relevant to a decades-old goal of American foreign policy — encouraging change in Cuba’s single-party, centrally planned system. For more than 50 years, Washington sought to strangle nearly all trade with the island in hopes of spurring economic collapse. Obama changed that policy to one of promoting engagement as a way of strengthening a Cuban private sector that could grow into a middle class empowered to demand reform.

Cuba’s tourism boom began shortly after Obama and Cuban President Raul Castro announced in December 2014 that their countries would re-establish diplomatic relations and move toward normalization. U.S. cruise ships began docking in the Bay of Havana and U.S. airlines started regular flights to cities across the island. Overall tourism last year was up 56 percent over Cuba’s roughly 3 million visitors in 2014.

While the U.S. prohibits tourism to Cuba, Americans can travel here for specially designated purposes like religious activity or the vaguely defined category of “people-to-people” cultural interaction.

Obama allowed individuals to participate in “people-to-people” activities outside official tour groups. Hundreds of thousands of Americans responded by designing their own Cuban vacations without fear of government penalties. Since Cuba largely steers tour groups to government-run facilities, Americans traveling on their own became a vital market for the island’s private entrepreneurs, hotly desired for their free spending, heavy tipping and a desire to see a “real” Cuba beyond all-inclusive beach resorts and quick stops on tour buses. The surge helped travel-related businesses maintain their role as by far the most successful players in Cuba’s small but growing private sector.

Trump’s new policy re-imposed the required for “people-to-people” travel to take place only in tour groups, which depend largely on Cuban government transportation and guides.

As a result, many private business people are seeing so many fewer Americans that it feels like their numbers are dropping, even though the statistics say otherwise.

“Tourism has grown in Cuba, with the exception of American tourism,” said Nelson Lopez, a private tour guide. “But I’m sure that sometime soon they’ll be back.”

While Trump’s new rules didn’t take effect until November, their announcement in June led to an almost immediate slackening in business from individual Americans, many Cuban entrepreneurs say. The situation was worsened by Hurricane Irma striking Cuba’s northern coast in September and by a Cuban government freeze on new licenses for businesses including restaurants and bed-and-breakfasts. Cuban officials say the freeze was needed to control tax evasion, purchase of stolen state goods and other illegality in the private sector, but it’s had the effect of further restricting private-sector activity in the wake of Trump’s policy change.

Cuban state tourism officials did not respond to requests for comment.

Trump’s policy changes did not touch flights or cruise ships. Jose Luis Perello, a tourism expert at the University of Havana, said more than 541,000 cruise ship passengers visited Cuba in 2017, compared with 184,000 the previous year. Even as entrepreneurs see fewer American clients, many of those cruise passengers are coming from the United States, he said.

Yunaika Estanque, who runs a three-room bed-and-breakfast overlooking the Bay of Havana, says she has been able to weather a sharp drop in American guests because a British tour agency still sends her clients, but things still aren’t good.

“Without a doubt our best year was 2016, before the Trump presidency,” she said. “I’ve been talking with other bed-and-breakfast owners and they’re in bad shape.”

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Experts: North Korea latest ICBM test puts much of US in range

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PYONGYANG, North Korea — North Korea on Friday test-fired its second intercontinental ballistic missile, which flew longer and higher than the first according to its wary neighbors, leading analysts to conclude that a wide swath of the U.S., including Los Angeles and Chicago, is now within range of Pyongyang’s weapons.

Japanese government spokesman Yoshihide Suga said the missile, launched late Friday night, flew for about 45 minutes — about five minutes longer than the ICBM North Korea test-fired on July 4. The missile was launched on very high trajectory, which limited the distance it traveled, and landed west of Japan’s island of Hokkaido.

“We assess that this missile was an intercontinental ballistic missile, as had been expected,” Pentagon spokesman Navy Capt. Jeff Davis said in Washington.

Analysts had estimated that the North’s first ICBM could have reached Alaska, and said Friday that the latest missile appeared to extend that range significantly.

David Wright, a physicist and co-director of the global security program at the Union of Concerned Scientists, said in Washington that if reports of the missile’s maximum altitude and flight time are correct, it would have a theoretical range of at least 10,400 kilometers (about 6,500 miles). That means it could have reached Los Angeles, Denver and Chicago, depending on variables such as the size and weight of the warhead that would be carried atop such a missile in an actual attack.

Bruce Klingner, a Korean and Japanese affairs specialist at the Heritage Foundation think tank in Washington, said, “It now appears that a significant portion of the continental United States is within range” of North Korean missiles. Klingner recently met with North Korean officials to discuss denuclearization, the think tank said.

Washington and its allies have watched with growing concern as Pyongyang has made significant progress toward its goal of having all of the U.S. within range of its missiles to counter what it labels as U.S. aggression. There are other hurdles, including building nuclear warheads to fit on those missiles and ensuring reliability. But many analysts have been surprised by how quickly leader Kim Jong Un has developed North Korea’s nuclear and missile programs despite several rounds of U.N. Security Council sanctions that have squeezed the impoverished country’s economy.

President Donald Trump has said he will not allow North Korea to obtain an ICBM that can deliver a nuclear warhead. But this week, the Defense Intelligence Agency reportedly concluded that the North will have a reliable ICBM capable of carrying a nuclear weapon as early as next year, in an assessment that trimmed two years from the agency’s earlier estimate.

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe called the launch a “serious and real threat” to the country’s security.

Suga, the Japanese spokesman, said Japan has lodged a strong protest with North Korea.
“North Korea’s repeated provocative acts absolutely cannot be accepted,” he said.

A spokesman for Gen. Joseph Dunford, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, said Friday that Dunford met at the Pentagon with the commander of U.S. forces in the Pacific, Adm. Harry Harris, to discuss U.S. military options in light of North Korea’s missile test.

The spokesman, Navy Capt. Greg Hicks, said Dunford and Harris placed a phone call to Dunford’s South Korean counterpart, Gen. Lee Sun Jin. Dunford and Harris “expressed the ironclad commitment to the U.S.-Republic of Korea alliance,” Hicks said, referring to the U.S. defense treaty that obliges the U.S. to defend South Korea.

Prime Minister Abe said Japan would cooperate closely with the U.S., South Korea and other nations to step up pressure on North Korea to halt its missile programs.

South Korea’s Joint Chiefs of Staff said the missile reached an estimated height of 3,700 kilometers (2,300 miles) before landing at sea about 1,000 kilometers (625 miles) away. It appeared to be more advanced than the ICBM North Korea previously launched, it said.

The “Hwasong 14” ICBM test-fired earlier this month was also launched at a very steep angle, a technique called lofting, and reached a height of more than 2,500 kilometers (1,550 miles) before splashing down in the ocean 930 kilometers (580 miles) away. Analysts said that missile could be capable of reaching most of Alaska or possibly Hawaii if fired in an attacking trajectory.

South Korea’s Joint Chiefs of Staff said the missile was launched from North Korea’s northern Jagang province near the border with China. President Moon Jae-in presided over an emergency meeting of the National Security Council, which called for an emergency meeting of the U.N. Security Council and stronger sanctions on North Korea.

There was no immediate confirmation of the launch by North Korea. The day’s broadcast on state-run television had already ended when the news broke at around midnight Pyongyang time.
July 27 is a major national holiday in North Korea called Victory in the Fatherland Liberation War Day, marking the day when the armistice was signed ending the 1950-53 Korean War. That armistice is yet to be replaced with a peace treaty, leaving the Korean Peninsula technically in a state of war.

North Korea generally waits hours or sometimes a day or more before announcing launches, often with a raft of photos in the ruling party newspaper or on the television news. Kim Jong Un is usually shown at the site to observe and supervise major launches.

Late night launches are rare. North Korea usually conducts its missile and underground nuclear tests in the morning. It’s likely the North launched the missile at night and from the remote province of Jagang to demonstrate its operational versatility. To have a real deterrent, it’s important for North Korea to prove it can launch whenever and wherever it chooses, making it harder for foreign military observers trying to detect their activities ahead of time.
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Yamaguchi reported from Tokyo. Associated Press writers Robert Burns in Washington, Hyung-jin Kim in Seoul, South Korea, and Eric Talmadge in Pyongyang, North Korea, contributed to this report.

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