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North Korea missile launch lands near Japan waters, alarms Tokyo

Published Aug 03, 2016 09:13am

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SEOUL: North Korea launched a ballistic missile on Wednesday that landed in or near Japanese-controlled waters for the first time, the latest in a series of launches by the isolated country in defiance of United Nations Security Council resolutions.

The main body of the missile landed in Japan's economic exclusion zone, a Japanese defence official said, escalating regional tensions that were already high after a series of missile launches and the decision by the United States to place a sophisticated anti-missile system in South Korea.

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe described the launch as a "grave threat" to Japan and said Tokyo "strongly protested".

Washington also quickly hit back, with the State Department saying it was aware of the reports and warning it was prepared to “defend ourselves and our allies from any attack or provocation”.

-AFP
-AFP

The latest test also comes amid mounting tensions ahead of a planned US-South Korea joint military exercise later this month. Last year the drills involved 30,000 US soldiers and 50,000 South Korean troops.

The missile that landed in the Sea of Japan was launched at about 7:50am Seoul time (2250 GMT Tuesday) from a region in South Hwanghae province to the southwest of the capital, Pyongyang, South Korea's Office of the Joint Chiefs of Staff said in a statement.

The launch showed North Korean ambition to "directly and broadly attack neighbouring countries and target several places in the Republic of Korea such as ports and airfields," the statement said, referring to South Korea by its official title.

The missile appeared to be a Rodong-type medium-range missile that flew about 1,000 kilometres (620 miles), it said.

The South Korean statement referred to just one launch, although the US Strategic Command said it had detected two missiles, one of which it said exploded immediately after launch.

On July 19, North Korea fired three ballistic missiles that flew between 500km and 600km into the sea off its east coast.

The North later said the launches were part of an exercise simulating preemptive strikes against South Korean ports and airfields used by the US military.

The launches follow an agreement last month between South Korea and the US to deploy an advanced Terminal High Altitude Area Defence anti-missile system in the South.

North Korea had threatened a “physical response” against the deployment decision. Japan also said its self-defence force would remain on alert in case of further launches.

North Korea came under the latest round of UN Security Council sanctions in March after its fourth nuclear test in January and the launch of a long-range rocket the following month.

Tensions have been high on the Korean peninsula since the January nuclear test. The two Koreas remain technically at war under a truce that ended fighting in the 1950-53 Korean War.

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Comments (21) Closed



deepu Aug 03, 2016 09:24am

China should convince its close ally to desist from further provocation which have potential to put china herself in an embarrassing position.

BD Aug 03, 2016 09:49am

Shame on North Korea and countries supporting it

Iqbal Ali Aug 03, 2016 09:58am

It is amusing to see how China is surrounded by it's friends and enemies.

Indian Aug 03, 2016 09:59am

North Korea needs democracy who can at least think about it's people.

Raj Aug 03, 2016 10:03am

Such act by North-Korea will increase tension in South-China sea and there is every possibility that US will take undue advantage to counter China. There is every possibility that US may attack North-Korea to save Japan & South-Korea.

Zak {the lover} Aug 03, 2016 10:12am

"One is known by the. Company he keeps " Statement is perfect for china

KT Aug 03, 2016 10:21am

All countries against North Korea should realize that people of N Korea are innocent those who control the country must be dealt rather than firing weapons against the people. The ruler of North Korea is supported by other countries. People of N. Korea are peaceful and courteous.

Prakash Aug 03, 2016 10:26am

Irresponsible..N. K.

AHA Aug 03, 2016 10:34am

One of the two rogue isolated countries. What do they achieve? Can they attack Japan/South Korea and survive in reality?. This is like a person living in ghetto throwing a stone on wealthy neighbour.

JQ Aug 03, 2016 10:41am

When the war will begun ? And why all Allies countries to USA in peace ????????????????

khan Aug 03, 2016 11:09am

it is not that much sensational, i live in korea and believe me there is absolutely no chance of war between north and south. it is just a matter for the media which have no other news to cover and do politics in developed countries like korea and japan.

Alba Aug 03, 2016 11:11am

Japan does have the technology to create it's own nuclear missiles. Events are heading in that direction.

Kk Aug 03, 2016 12:43pm

North Korea should be more diplomatic and Kingdom prince should think about its peace loving citizen. They can take TURKEY help in mediation.

Khwaja Aug 03, 2016 01:01pm

I would love to see Ten Thousand km range.

inqelab zindabad Aug 03, 2016 01:41pm

@Khwaja in other words you would like to see violence..

Kranti Aug 03, 2016 01:43pm

One of Pakistan's achievement

INDIAN LOVE Aug 03, 2016 01:59pm

South Korea must criticize China for supporting North Korea politically & diplomatically in international arena.

xyz-Indian Aug 03, 2016 02:03pm

Japan can create more fuel efficient missiles. trust me even China may be annoyed of North Korea by now. lets see what happens, the relation of North & South korea is same like India-Pak, so always think of artificial divisions, others take benefit when own brother fight for nothing.

INDIAN LOVE Aug 03, 2016 02:07pm

China needs North Korea to counter US & Japan navy . US super carrier & nuclear submarine are only 600 km away from Beijing & Shanghai , form US military base in South Korea & Japan. China know this fact , using north Korea for its own interest.

Abu Aug 03, 2016 02:42pm

US and its allies are creating mess every where

Wariss from Jammu Aug 03, 2016 06:26pm

@Abu Read news properly!!