North Korea Launches Second Missile Over Japan

By Faith Magbanua, September 15, 2017 22:09 PM


For the second time this month, North Korea has fired a ballistic missile across Japan amidst new UN sanctions.

The South Korea's military said that the missile reached an estimated altitude of about 770km (478 miles) and travelled 3,700km before landing in the sea off Hokkaido.

According to Japan's Prime Minister, Shinzo Abe, he said that his country would "never tolerate" such "dangerous provocative action".

"If North Korea continues to walk down this path, it has no bright future," he said in a statement.

Furthermore, the US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson also condemned the launch, which disobeyed the sanctions given by the UN.

He put the burden of response on China and Russia, nuclear-armed North Korea's main economic partners, saying they "must indicate their intolerance for these reckless missile launches by taking direct actions of their own".

Japanese Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga said in a televised address that the single missile launched this Friday flew over Hokkaido. There were no reports of any objects falling in Japanese territory or any other damage resulting from the missile fired, Suga said.

However, just minutes after the launch, South Korea also fired two ballistic missiles into the sea in a simulated strike on North Korea, according to a report from Yonhap news agency.

South Korea's president, President Moon Jae-in, held an emergency meeting of his national security council, where he said that dialogue with the North was "impossible in a situation like this"

President Moon was elected earlier this year after campaigning partly on conducting more dialogue with Pyongyang.

To add to that, the South Korean military said the latest launch - the first since sanctions were tightened this week - took place from the Sunan airfield, north of Pyongyang just before 07:00 local time (22:00 GMT on Thursday).

However, similar with the last launch, it flew over Japan's northern Hokkaido island before splashing down in the Pacific Ocean.

Sirens sounded across the region and text message alerts were sent out, warning people to take cover. According to the initial estimates, the missile flew considerably higher and further than the one fired on August 29, which Pyongyang had warned was only "the first step" in its military operations in the Pacific.

Observers said it was likely an intermediate range ballistic missile (IRBM), though Japanese officials said there was still a possibility it had been an intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM).

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