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Japan slams latest North Korean missile launch as "totally impermissible"

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By Mark Armstrong  with AP
South Korea TV archive footage of missile launch
South Korea TV archive footage of missile launch   -   Copyright  AP Photo   -  

Japan has accused North Korea of threatening regional and international peace after the country's latest missile launch on Saturday.

It was the fourth such test in a week.

According to South Korean and Japanese estimates, the North Korean missiles flew about 350-400 kilometres (220-250 miles) at a maximum altitude of 30-50 kilometres (20-30 miles) before they landed in the waters between the Korean Peninsula and Japan.

Japanese Vice Defence Minister, Toshiro Ino, said the action was “absolutely impermissible”.

He added that since the beginning of the year North Korea has repeatedly launched missiles with unprecedented frequency and in new ways.

"North Korea's actions threaten the peace and safety not only for Japan but also the region and the international community, and are absolutely impermissible," Ino told a media conference. 

The latest tests came after the visit to South Korea last Thursday of the vice president of the United States, Kamala Harris. And on Friday Seoul, Washington and Tokyo carried out joint anti-submarine military manoeuvres in response to Pyongyang's continuing weapons development.