North Korea fires ballistic missile over Japan
North Korea launched a ballistic missile this week in what would be its fifth test in a span of 10 days. The launch was met with widespread condemnation as residents were advised to take cover.
Pyongyang fired a ballistic missile over Japan in its fifth test in a span of 10 days. The missile was detected by the Japanese Coast Guard and the South Korean Joint Chiefs of Staff.
The launch also prompted warning sirens in northern Japan, with residents of the area urged to take cover. The launch also resulted in the temporary suspension of train services in the eastern Hokkaido and Aomori regions.
The latest launch by North Korea is also the first missile the isolated nation has launched over Japan in 5 years.
Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida condemned the act as “barbaric.” South Korean President Yoon Suk-yeol warned of a resolute response, and both leaders convened an emergency meeting of their respective national security councils.
Japanese and South Korean officials said the missile flew between 4,500 and 4,600 kilometers with a maximum altitude of around 1,000 kilometers. The missile was launched from the northern region, near the border, North Korea shares with China, and the missile was in the air for around 22 minutes before it fell into the Pacific Ocean.
Tokyo said it had not taken any steps to shoot the missile down, Japanese defense minister Yasukazu Hamada said it has not ruled out any options, including counterattack capabilities.
“North Korea’s series of actions, including its repeated ballistic missile launches, threatens the peace and security of Japan, the region, and the international community, and poses a serious challenge to the entire international community including Japan,” government spokesperson Hirokazu Matsuno told a news conference.
A spokesperson for the European Union’s foreign affairs and security also condemned the launch in a statement Tuesday.
“The DPRK must cease missile launches, refrain from a nuclear test and engage in meaningful dialogue with the United States, the Republic of Korea, and other members of the international community,” said the spokesperson in the statement, referring to the initials of North Korea’s official name, the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, and South Korea’s official name, the Republic of Korea.