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North Korea fires missile into Sea of Japan

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Japan’s Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has condemned North Korea’s latest missile launch and vowed action along with other nations to deter Pyongyang’s “repeated provocations”.

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“As we agreed at the recent G7, the issue of North Korea is a top priority for the international community,” Abe told reporters in brief televised remarks.

“Working with the United States, we will take specific action to deter North Korea.”

It is the latest missile launch from the North, which appears to have landed in Japan’s exclusive economic zone.

The White House said President Donald Trump had been briefed on the launch.

US authorities tracked the six-minute flight of what was believed to be a short-range ballistic missile until it crashed into the Sea of Japan, the US Pacific Command said on Sunday.

“We continue to monitor North Korea’s actions closely,” the Pacific Command said, adding the missile did not pose a threat to North America and it is working on a more detailed assessment of the launch from near the country’s Wonsan Airfield.

The launch was immediately reported to South Korean President Moon Jae-in, who called a meeting of the National Security Council early on Monday, South Korea’s Office of the Joint Chiefs of Staff said in a statement.

The missile was believed to be a Scud-class ballistic missile and flew about 450 km, the South Korea’s joint chiefs said in a statement.

North Korea last test-fired a ballistic missile on May 21 off its east coast and on Sunday said it had tested a new anti-aircraft weapon supervised by leader Kim Jong Un.

Pyongyang has conducted dozens of missile tests and tested two nuclear bombs since the start of 2016, in defiance of UN Security Council resolutions.

It says the program is necessary to counter US aggression.

The United States has said it is looking at discussing with China a new UN Security Council resolution and that Beijing, the main diplomatic ally of Pyongyang, realises time is limited to rein in the North’s weapons program through negotiations.

Experts say the North appears to be gaining meaningful data that is fed into its effort to build an intercontinental ballistic missile.

– Reuters

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