Published On: Fri, Sep 15th, 2017

North Korea Fires Second Ballistic Missile Over Japan Setting Off Warning Announcements

North Korea 's warning announcements missile lands in the Pacific, creating new tension in the region after its nuclear bomb test less than two weeks ago.

North Korea fired a missile over Hokkaido island in northern Japan on Friday, setting off warning announcements.

The missile reached an altitude of about 770 km (480 miles) and traveled 3,700km (2,300 miles) for about 19 minutes before landed in the Pacific. Higher and further than one fired over Japan late last month. South Korea’s military said: far enough to reach the US Pacific territory of Guam.

The North’s launch came a day after Pyongyang threatened to sink Japan and reduce the United States to “ashes and darkness” for supporting the Security Council’s latest resolution and sanctions after the North’s sixth and most powerful nuclear test.

 

Warning announcements about the missile blared around 7am (22:00 GMT Thursday). South Korea responded within minutes by firing two ballistic missiles into the sea in a simulated strike on the North.

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said his country would “never tolerate” such “dangerous provocative action”.

US officials said Washington’s commitments to the defense of its allies remained “ironclad”.

Last month, North Korea fired a missile from a similar area near the capital Pyongyang that also flew over Hokkaido into the ocean. Two tests in July were for long-range intercontinental ballistic missiles capable of reaching at least parts of the US mainland.

The North accuses the United States, which has 28,500 troops in South Korea, of planning to invade and regularly threatens to destroy it.

 

The United Nations Security Council

The top nuclear envoys of the United States, South Korea and Japan vowed Friday to take strong response to North Korea’s new ballistic missile test, the foreign ministry said.

The United Nations Security Council was to meet at 3 pm EDT (1900 GMT) on Friday at the request of the United States and Japan, diplomats said, just days after the 15-member council unanimously stepped up sanctions against North Korea over its September 3 nuclear test. Those sanctions imposed a ban on the country’s textile exports and capping imports of crude oil.

News agencies report “The international community needs to come together and send a clear message to North Korea that it is threatening world peace with its actions,” Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe told reporters in Tokyo. Abe described the launch as “unacceptable”.

The US general who oversees America’s nuclear forces said on Thursday he was making the assumption that test was in fact a hydrogen bomb, as Pyongyang had claimed, based on the size of the blast.

“I’m assuming it was a hydrogen bomb,” said Air Force General John Hyten, head of the US military’s Strategic Command. “I have to make that assumption as a military officer,” Hyten told a small group of reporters who were accompanying Mattis on a trip to Hyten’s headquarters in Nebraska.

US President Donald Trump has vowed that North Korea will never be allowed to threaten the United States with a nuclear-tipped missile, but has also asked China to do more to rein in its neighbor. China in turn favors an international response to the problem.

 

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