North Korea poses ‘serious and grave threat’ for launching missile over Japan

By @chelean on
North Korean leader Kim Jong Un reacts as he watches a long range rocket launch
North Korean leader Kim Jong Un reacts as he watches a long range rocket launch in this undated photo released by North Korea's Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) in Pyongyang February 7, 2016. Reuters/KCNA

North Korea fired a missile over northern Japan on Tuesday morning. Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has warned citizens to take precautions from the “serious and grave threat” from the reclusive nation.

South Korea’s Joint Chiefs of Staff said the missile was fired eastward from Pyongyang at 5:57 a.m. local time. “It passed through the sky over Japan,” the JCS was quoted by Yonhap as saying, adding that the missile fell into the North Pacific Ocean. The missile flew more than 2,700 kilometres at maximum altitude of 550 km.

Japan sounded air raid warnings as the missile approached to warn people to take in shelter. Abe said the government was aware of the developments on the missile since immediately after it was launched.

“A missile launch across Japan is an outrageous act that poses an unprecedented, grave and serious threat, and significantly undermines the peace and security of the region,” the prime minister told reporters Tuesday. “The Government has lodged a firm protest against North Korea.”

Abe added that they have asked the United Nations (UN) Security Council to convene an emergency meeting, saying that the government would collaborate with the international community to further strengthen the pressure on North Korea.

South Korea has also condemned North Korea’s missile test launch, with President Moon Jae-in ordering his troops to demonstrate capability for “strong retaliation.” The United States, meanwhile, said it has determined the missile launch did not pose a threat to the country. US President Donald Trump previously warned that he would unleash “fire and fury” at Pyongyang if the Asian country continued with its threats.

Australian Foreign Affairs Minister Julie Bishop said North Korea’s latest ballistic missile test posed an “unacceptable threat to peace and stability” in the region. Pyongyang’s act was provocative and threatening. Australia is calling on all countries to fully implement existing UN Security Council resolutions to pressure Pyongyang.

The Tuesday’s missile test was the second launch in a span of a few days. North Korea fired several rockets into the sea on Saturday.

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