Ja­pan slams N Korean mis­sile test

The Myanmar Times - - World -

NORTH Korea yes­ter­day fired a bal­lis­tic mis­sile into the sea off north­ern Ja­pan, draw­ing an out­raged re­sponse from Tokyo and ramp­ing up al­ready el­e­vated ten­sions with the United States and South Korea.

The US mil­i­tary said the North had ac­tu­ally launched two Rodong in­ter­me­di­ate-range mis­siles si­mul­ta­ne­ously, but one ap­peared to have ex­ploded on take-off.

The launches came af­ter North Korea threat­ened “phys­i­cal ac­tion” in re­sponse to the planned de­ploy­ment of a so­phis­ti­cated US anti-mis­sile sys­tem in South Korea, and just weeks be­fore the start of an­nual joint South Kore­aUS mil­i­tary ex­er­cises.

Ja­pan said the one mis­sile had landed 250 kilo­me­tres (154 miles) off its north­ern coast and within the coun­try’s Ex­clu­sive Eco­nomic Zone (EEZ).

“It’s a se­ri­ous threat against our coun­try’s se­cu­rity,” Prime Min­is­ter Shinzo Abe told re­porters. “This is an out­ra­geous act that can­not be tol­er­ated by any­one.”

The US con­demned what it called a clear vi­o­la­tion of United Na­tions Se­cu­rity Coun­cil res­o­lu­tions ex­plic­itly pro­hibit­ing North Korea’s use of bal­lis­tic mis­sile tech­nol­ogy.

“This provo­ca­tion only serves to in­crease the in­ter­na­tional com­mu­nity’s re­solve to counter [North Korea’s] pro­hib­ited ac­tiv­i­ties,” said Pen­tagon spokesper­son Gary Ross.

The US Strate­gic Com­mand said the two mis­siles were launched from a site in west­ern North Korea at about 7:50am.

“Ini­tial in­di­ca­tions re­veal one of the mis­siles ex­ploded im­me­di­ately af­ter launch, while the sec­ond was tracked over North Korea and into the Sea of Ja­pan.”

It was the first time since 1998 that a North Korean mis­sile had landed in­side Ja­pan’s EEZ. –

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