The US and Japan have confirmed that North Korea fired a missile just one week after it launched its Hwasong-12 rocket. The new missile had a shorter range, according to Washington, and possibly landed off Japan’s east coast, inflicting no damage to ships in the area.
The North Korean missile of unknown type flew about 500km and landed outside Japan’s exclusive economic zones, South Korea’s military said.
It added that the projectile is presumably a ballistic rocket. There are no immediate reports of damage to ships in the area.
The White House said that the rocket had a shorter range than those fired during three recent tests.
“We are aware that North Korea launched a [medium-range ballistic missile]. This system, last tested in February, has a shorter range than the missiles launched in North Korea’s three most recent tests,” a White House official said, as cited by Reuters.
Tokyo has already condemned the launch, describing it as an “intolerable” move clearly violating UN Security Council resolutions.
Japan will not tolerate North Korea’s “repeated acts of provocation,” Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga told a news conference later on Sunday.
Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said on Sunday that he wants to address the North Korean missile launches at the G7 summit in Italy later this month.
“I would like to have a thorough discussion about this at the G7 summit,” Abe told reporters after a meeting of the National Security Council, according to Reuters.
South Korea and Japan, Pyongyang’s immediate neighbors, have set up urgent meetings of their respective security councils, according to media in both states.
South Korea’s Office of Joint Chiefs of Staff said the country’s military and the US were conducting a thorough analysis of the launch, according to Reuters.
It comes a week after North Korea tested what it said was a new type of ballistic missile capable of delivering a full-size nuclear warhead.
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On Monday, the UN Security Council demanded that Pyongyang conduct no such tests again, stating it was crucial that North Korea “immediately show sincere commitment to denuclearization through concrete action.”
Last week’s test involved what Pyongyang said was a long-range ballistic missile. The rocket reportedly covered a distance of 700km, with an altitude reported by some media outlets to be up to 2,000km, before falling into the Sea of Japan, according to South Korean and Japanese military estimates.