A man watches a TV news program showing a file image of a missile being test-launched by North Korea, at Seoul Railway Station in Seoul, South Korea. (File)InternationalIndiaAfricaTOKYO (Sputnik) – Japan expressed a strong protest to North Korea over the launch of an intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM), the Japanese Defense Ministry said in a statement. “The actions of North Korea, including also the previous frequent launches of ballistic missiles, threaten the peace and security of our country, the region and the international community,” the ministry said. “The launch of a ballistic missile violates the relevant UN Security Council resolutions. Our country expressed a strong protest to North Korea and strongly condemned [it].”According to the statement, no damage to Japanese aircraft and sea vessels has been reported yet. The Japanese ministry earlier said the missile fired by North Korea early Thursday was presumably an ICBM, flying at a maximum altitude of 6,000 kilometers (3,728 miles). The missile was in the air for about 70 minutes. Following with the launch, the prime minister announced the convening of a meeting of the National Security Council with key ministers. Japanese Defense Minister Yasukazu Hamada earlier said the missile fired by North Korea landed outside of Japan’s exclusive economic zone. AsiaNorth Korea Fires Long-Range Ballistic Missile Toward Sea of Japan Ahead of Yoon-Kishida MeetingYesterday, 22:29 GMTSimilar sentiments condemning North Korea’s Thursday launch were also echoed by Japan’s South Korean counterparts ahead of a highly-anticipated meeting between South Korea President Yoon Suk-yeol and Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida.Yoon had attended a South Korean National Security Council (NSC) meeting before departing for Japan for the summit, reportedly going on to say at the meeting: “North Korea will certainly pay for reckless provocations.”He further stressed the need to strengthen security cooperation with the United States and Japan. According to South Korean media, Yoon also ordered the military to thoroughly conduct ongoing military drills with the US.The South Korean NSC condemned North Korea’s ICBM launch as a violation of UN Security Council resolutions and a provocation that escalates tensions on the Korean Peninsula and threatens regional peace.
South Korea and the United States on Monday started an 11-day Freedom Shield joint exercise, along with separate large-scale field maneuvers called Warrior Shield, amid Seoul's tougher rhetoric against Pyongyang.
AsiaNorth Korea Confirms It Fired Two Medium-Range Ground-to-Ground Ballistic MissilesYesterday, 00:52 GMTThe Thursday test-firing was the sixth launch of a ballistic missile by North Korea this year, with the latest string of launches taking place with the start of joint military drills between the US and South Korea. In 2022, Pyongyang carried out 37 such launches.The Yoon-Kishida summit is expected to see the pair of world leaders discuss bilateral cooperation, as well as trilateral interaction between Tokyo, Seoul and Washington, for complete denuclearization of North Korea.