South Korean president’s new stance, that ‘dialogue is impossible’, will be welcomed by Japan, US and UK

North Korea’s latest missile launch may be the latest in a long line, and widely predicted, but familiarity is not reassuring. The 2,300-mile (3,700km) flight of the missile – further than any missile tested by the regime – over Japan only serves to sharpen the policy choices facing the rest of the world.

The most immediate diplomatic impact, apart from another call for an emergency meeting of the UN security council, is that Pyongyang’s decision has put paid to South Korea’s lingering interest in reviving talks with its northern neighbours.

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