North Korea missile test: US terms launch a ‘reckless act’, S Korea orders live-military drill in response

North Korea missile test:  In this May 14, 2017, file photo distributed by the North Korean government shows the “Hwasong-12,” a new type of ballistic missile at an undisclosed location in North Korea. (Korean Central News Agency/Korea News Service via AP, File) Related News

In a clear message to its rivals, North Korea on Friday fired an intermediate-range missile over Japan into the northern Pacific Ocean on Friday despite several US warnings over a possible retaliation. The missile test by Pyongyang is being termed as the longest-ever flight of an intermediate-range missile till now. US President Donald Trump had threatened North Korea with ‘fire and fury’ in August last month. Since then, North Korea has conducted its most powerful nuclear test, threatened to send missiles into waters around Guam and launched two missiles of ever increasing range over Japan, a US ally.

The growing frequency with which Pyongyang has carried out and displayed these missile tests confirm what experts and governments have feared all along: North Korea is getting closer than ever to its ultimate goal of building a military arsenal. South Korean authorities said the intermediate-missile travelled around 3,700 kilometers (2,300 miles) reaching a maximum height of 770 kilometres. Also Read:

Meanwhile, North Korea’s missile test drew sharp condemnation from across the world, with South Korean President Moon Jae-in ordering military to conduct a live-fire ballistic missile drill in response to the launch. Japan too condemned it saying Tokyo will never tolerate North Korea’s “provocative” acts.

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North Korea missile test: People walk past a public TV screen showing a file footage of North Korean leader Kim Jong Un during news on North’s missile launch, in Tokyo, Friday, Sept. 15, 2017.  (AP Photo/Eugene Hoshiko)

Here’s how other countries reacted to North Korea’s missile launch:

South Korea

Responding to the launch, South Korean President Moon Jae-in has scheduled a National Security Council meeting to discuss the launch. It conducted a live-fire ballistic missile drill in response to the North’s launch.

Japan

Yoshihide Suga, Japan’s Chief Cabinet Secretary, condemned North Korea’s missile launch saying he is conveying “strong anger” on behalf of the Japanese people. Suga added saying Japan “will not tolerate the repeated and excessive provocations.” Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe too condemned North Korea’s missile launch as a reckless act that trampled on efforts toward a peaceful solution. The Japanese Prime Minister said the launch “trampled on the international society’s desire for a peaceful solution” and that “North Korea’s reckless act is absolutely unacceptable.”

US

U.S. Defense Secretary Jim Mattis termed the North Korea missile attack as a ‘reckless act’. At the time of the missile launch, Mattis was at the U.S. Strategic Command headquarters in Nebraska. He said later that the missile “was fired over Japan and put millions of Japanese in duck and cover”. When asked about a possible American military response, Mattis told Associated Press: “I don’t want to talk on that yet.” He said President Donald Trump had been fully briefed on the event. U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson called on the international community to take new measures against Pyongyang after the missile launch. He said U.N. Security Council resolutions approved earlier this week “represent the floor, not the ceiling, of the actions we should take.” He also singled out Russia and China, saying they “must indicate their intolerance for these reckless missile launches by taking direct actions of their own”.

UN Security Council

Right after North Korea’s missile launch, the U.N. Security Council scheduled an emergency meeting. Ethiopia’s U.N. Mission, which holds the council presidency this month, said closed-door consultations will take place Friday afternoon at the request of the United States and Japan.

Australia

Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull condemned North Korea’s missile launch as “reckless and dangerous” even as he called for tougher punishments against Pyongyang. In a statement to AP, Turnbull said: “This is another example of why it is vitally important to continue to tighten those economic sanctions on North Korea.”

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