The Japan Self-Defense Forces monitored the entire flight of the North Korean missile launched on Tuesday and took no measures to destroy it since there was no threat of possible damage, Japanese Chief Cabinet Secretary Hirokazu Matsuno said.
“The Japan Self-Defense Forces recorded the launch and tracked the flight of the missile from the moment it was launched to the moment it fell,” Matsuno said at a press conference, adding that “no measures were taken to destroy” the missile since “a threat of possible damage was not predicted.”
At the same time, the spokesman added that the continued development of North Korean missiles had been posing a significant threat to the security of not only Japan but also the whole region and the entire international community.
Pyongyang carried out another missile launch on Tuesday morning, according to Seoul. The missile flew over Japanese territory and landed in the Pacific Ocean outside the country’s exclusive economic zone. The range of its flight, according to the Japanese military, was about 4,600 kilometers (2,860 miles) with a maximum altitude of 1,000 kilometers.
There were no reports about damage to property or shipping. However, the Japanese government convened the National Security Council due to the launch and established an emergency headquarters to collect and analyze information about North Korean missile tests.
North Korea carried out several missile launches last week. All missiles were supposedly ballistic. Their flight range was 300-400 kilometers, while the maximum altitude was about 50 kilometers. Some of the missiles flew along a non-standard trajectory.
Meanwhile, Japanese Foreign Minister Yoshimasa Hayashi said that he had a telephone conversation with the US Secretary of State Antony Blinken, who condemned North Korea’s latest missile launch and reaffirmed his intention to expand Tokyo-Washington cooperation to completely denuclearize the Korean Peninsula.
“Secretary Blinken strongly condemned these defiant acts when North Korea conducted four missile launches in one week and then fired the first missile in five years that flew over Japan. He called it an act that posed a serious threat to the security of Japan, as well as to the international community as a whole,” the minister said during a press conference.
Hayashi also said that the sides agreed to expand cooperation to achieve complete denuclearization of North Korea, as well as to improve the defense capabilities of the US-Japan alliance.
Earlier in the day, the Japanese Foreign Ministry said that the Asian and Oceanian Affairs Department’s director Takehiro Funakoshi had a telephone conversation with the US Special Representative for North Korea Sung Kim and the South Korean Special Representative for Korean Peninsula Peace and Security Affairs Kim Gunn.
The ministry added that the sides exchanged views on Pyongyang’s latest missile launch and agreed to launch a response within the framework of the United Nations Security Council.
The United States officially condemned North Korea’s ballistic missile launch, a spokesperson for the US National Security Council said.
“The United States strongly condemns the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea’s (DPRK) dangerous and reckless decision to launch a long-range ballistic missile over Japan. This action is destabilizing and shows the DPRK’s blatant disregard for United Nations Security Council resolutions and international safety norms,” NSC Spokesperson Adrienne Watson said in a statement posted on the White House’s website.
“Tonight, National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan spoke with his Japanese and Republic of Korea (ROK) counterparts, Secretary General Akiba Takeo of the National Security Secretariat of Japan and National Security Office Director Kim Sung-han of the ROK.
In both calls, the National Security Advisors consulted on appropriate and robust joint and international responses, and National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan reinforced the United States’ ironclad commitments to the defense of Japan and the ROK,” according to the statement.
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