The United States has strongly condemned North Korea’s latest Intercontinental ballistic missile test.
North Korea fired an ICBM on Thursday morning, ahead of landmark talks between the leaders of South Korea and Japan aimed at improving bilateral relations.
The long-range ballistic missile, which could potentially reach mainland United States, was launched from Pyongyang on the east coast of North Korea, and landed outside Japan’s exclusive economic zone, according to the Japanese defense ministry.
While U.S. INDOPACOM has assessed it did not pose an immediate threat to U.S. personnel, territory, or to its allies, this launch “needlessly raises tensions and risks destabilizing the security situation in the region”, NSC Spokesperson Adrienne Watson said in a statement.
He called it a flagrant violation of multiple UN Security Council resolutions.
Washington urged all countries to condemn these violations and called on Pyongyang to cease its destabilizing actions and engage in serious dialogue.
Watson said the U.S. national security team is closely coordinating with its allies and partners.
The United States will take all necessary measures to ensure the security of the American homeland and Republic of Korea and Japanese allies, the statement says.
Japan’s Chief Cabinet Secretary Hirokazu Matsuno said the missile launch is a “reckless act”
South Korean President Yoon Suk Yeol met Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida in Tokyo on Thursday, which Seoul described as an important milestone in the development of bilateral ties between the two East Asian neighbors.
The escalation in North Korean muscle flexing over the past year is among the agenda of discussions at the Tokyo summit.
Thursday’s missile launch was the fourth by North Korea in a week, and comes within a month of it firing another ICBM.
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