Japan has strongly protested the latest ballistic missile launch by irritant neighbour, North Korea, calling it an intolerable provocation.
North Korea fired the ballistic missile, with a range of 3,700 Kms over Japan on Friday morning.
The missile was launched at 6:57 a.m. Japan time (2157 GMT). It flew over Hokkaido and splashed down at 7:16 a.m. (2216 GMT) some 2,000 kilometres east of the northern island’s Cape Erimo, said Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga.
Japan protested the latest launch in the strongest terms and will take appropriate and timely action at the United Nations and elsewhere, staying in close contact with the United States and South Korea, Suga told reporters.
Before the missile launch, a North Korean state agency threatened to use nuclear weapons to “sink” Japan and reduce the United States to “ashes and darkness” for supporting a U.N. Security Council resolution and sanctions over its latest nuclear test.
The Korea Asia-Pacific Peace Committee, which handles the North’s external ties and propaganda, also called for the breakup of the Security Council, which it called “a tool of evil” made up of “money-bribed” countries that move at the order of the United States.
“The four islands of the archipelago should be sunken into the sea by the nuclear bomb of Juche. Japan is no longer needed to exist near us,” the committee said in a statement carried by the North’s official KCNA news agency.
Juche is the North’s ruling ideology that mixes Marxism and an extreme form of go-it-alone nationalism preached by state founder Kim Il Sung, the grandfather of the current leader, Kim Jong Un.
Regional tension has risen markedly since the reclusive North conducted its sixth, and by far its most powerful, nuclear test on Sept. 3, following a series of missile tests, including one that flew over Japan.
The 15-member Security Council voted unanimously on a U.S.-drafted resolution and a new round of sanctions on Monday in response, banning North Korea’s textile exports that are the second largest only to coal and mineral, and capping fuel supplies.