Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said on Wednesday that the latest North Korean missile launch was a “violent act” that “can never be tolerated” after the intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) splashed down in Japan’s exclusive economic zone (EEZ).
“We will never yield to any provocative act. We will maximize our pressure” on Pyongyang, the Japanese leader told reporters.
The Japan’s defense minister said earlier the missile was thought to have landed within Japan’s EEZ. The Pentagon said it flew about 1,000 kilometers (620 miles) before splashing down in the Sea of Japan.
Japan had “completely tracked” the missile, Abe told reporters. “We have made a strong complaint.”
By launching the missile, North Korea has ignored the international community’s “united, strong will toward a peaceful solution,” the prime minister said.
“The international community needs to perfectly implement sanctions, in unison,” he added.
Defense Minister Itsunori Onodera later told reporters that the missile had flown for 53 minutes “at an altitude far above 4,000 kilometers.”
“We have not received any reports of damage to airplanes or vessels operating near the area,” said Onodera, adding that the missile was fired “at a lofted trajectory.”
Speaking later in parliament, Abe said he had reaffirmed the importance of China in the crisis during a call with United States President Donald Trump, and praised Beijing for upholding sanctions on North Korea.
“The government welcomes the fact that China is taking concrete steps such as an embargo on imports of North Korea’s coal, marine products, textile products, among others,” Abe told a parliamentary committee.
“Frankly speaking, I feel that China is playing its role” over the United Nations-agreed sanctions, he also said. /kga
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