Shinzo Abe condemns North Korea missile launch

Asia on Edge After North Korean

The U.S. Strategic Command said in a statement that it detected "the simultaneous launch of two presumed intermediate-range ballistic missiles", adding that one "exploded immediately after launch, while the second was tracked over North Korea and into the Sea of Japan", which South Korea calls the East Sea.

Britain's deputy United Nations ambassador Peter Wilson said the test-fire marked the first time a missile landed in Japan's exclusive economic zone, some 250km from Japan's northern coast.

"The situation is tense and we need to do everything to de-escalate the situation", China's Ambassador Liu Jieyi told reporters. "It is certainly a major, major problem for the security and safety of our region".

North Korea has test fired another ballistic missile, this time landing in Japan's Exclusive Economic zone, the first to reach the area since 1998.

But Ambassador Liu Jieyi of China, an ally of North Korea, stressed that the council must not do anything to escalate tensions.

And Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said it posed a grave threat to Japan's security, calling it an "unforgiveable act of violence". Japan also said its self-defence force would remain on alert in case of further launches.

A Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) interceptor is launched during a successful flight test. "I think this is something that the council should take extremely seriously", Britain's Deputy Ambassador Peter Wilson said. Despite the frequency of North Korean missile testing this year, Pyongyang is constantly looking to gain technical insight and improve its technology with each iteration.

She told reporters after the closed meeting there were "strong condemnations across the board" from all 15 council members, which she found encouraging.

An official at South Korea's Joint Chiefs of Staff said it appeared to have been a medium-range Rodong. "When it comes to threats of proliferation, weakness is not an option", Lamek said.

When active, the system should be able to defend two-thirds of South Korea from an attack by its northern neighbor.

The type of missile launched has a maximum range of some 810 miles.

This week, the communist nation of North Korea reportedly declared war against the USA, which the latter had not taken seriously.

"It is the USA who threatens DPRK with missiles".

Pyongyang has conducted a series of missile tests this year in defiance of United Nations sanctions imposed after its fourth nuclear test in January.

After all, North Korea had pledged a "physical response" when America announced it would deploy its THAAD nuclear shield in neighbouring South Korea.

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