North Korea fired a missile over Japan into the Pacific Ocean on Friday, as Kim Jong-un sends another sign that UN sanctions won’t stop him.
After the second such launch in less than a month, the latest missile landed some 2,000 km east of Hokkaido, Japanese Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga told reporters.
Warnings about the missile blared in parts of northern Japan at around 7 a.m local time, while many residents received alerts on their mobile phones or saw warnings on TV telling them to seek refuge.
Condemning the missile launch, Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said:
“We absolutely cannot accept these provocations. Now is the time for the international community to come together. The latest sanctions need to be imposed in full. North Korea must be made to understand that if it continues on this path there is no bright future for it.”
Pyongyang’s latest missile launch comes after the UN Security Council stepped up sanctions against North Korea over its nuclear test this month.
The UN Security Council will meet on Friday at the request of Japan and the US whose Secretary of State Rex Tillerson is urging China and Russia to take a firm stand against the Kim regime.
US Secretary of Defence Jim Mattis said the launch “put millions of Japanese into duck and cover”, although residents in northern Japan appeared calm and went about their business as normal
The missile reached an altitude of about 770 km and flew for about 19 minutes over a distance of some 3,700 km, according to South Korea’s military – far enough to reach the US Pacific territory of Guam, towards which Pyongyang has previously threatened to launch missiles.