Once more, North Korea launches banned ballistic missiles into Japanese waters

Mar 07, 2017, 00:33
Once more, North Korea launches banned ballistic missiles into Japanese waters

Officials said more than one missile was launched in North Korea's latest action, with Japanese officials saying as many as four ballistic missiles were involved.

"Repeated launches by North Korea are a serious, provocative action in terms of security and clearly violate United Nations security council resolutions". "We can never tolerate this".

Tokyo's chief government spokesman Yoshihide Suga added that Japan was considering calling for an emergency Security Council meeting.

The U.S. State Department said it remained "prepared to use the full range of capabilities at our disposal against this growing threat". "It will take a while before we come up with a final analysis (based on U.S. satellite data)", the JCS said.

South Korean Foreign Ministry said in a statement on Monday that North Korea's launches of four ballistic missiles violate UN Security Council resolutions.

Hwang was referring to the killing of the North Korean leader's estranged half brother in Malaysia's Kuala Lumpur airport in February.

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said "strong protests" had been lodged with North Korea over the incident.

An unidentified spokesman for the North's general staff of the Korean People's Army said last week that Pyongyang's reaction to the southern drills would be the "toughest ever".

Pyongyang's missile programme has progressed over the last few decades from tactical rockets in the 1960s and 70s, to short-range and medium-range ballistic missiles in the 1980s and 90s.

"We consider it to be absolutely impermissible to make public statements containing threats to deliver some "preventive nuclear strikes" against opponents", the Russian foreign ministry said in a statement to those threats previous year. China has historically been North Korea's most important ally, an economic and political lifeline to the outer world the Hermit Kingdom shuns. It is the third time that North Korean missiles have landed within Japan's EEZ.

The North Korean ambassador to the United Nations, Ja Song Nam, said in a letter to the UN Security Council that the U.S. is using nuclear-propelled aircraft carriers, nuclear submarines, nuclear strategic bombers and stealth fighters in the joint exercises that began on Wednesday. The launch comes days after Seoul and Washington started massive joint military drills.

The missiles flew just over 1,000km on average from their launch site in the Tongchang-ri area near the Chinese border.

Dr Bong Young Shik of Yonsei University's Institute for North Korean Studies said that Pyongyang is merely "following through" with earlier threats that it will not sit idle if the annual joint exercises were to continue.

North Korean dictator Kim Jong-un may have been rattled by the United States cyber effort.