TOKYO, Nov 29, 2017 (BSS/AFP) – Japan’s prime minister said Wednesday that the latest North Korean missile launch was a “violent act” that “can never be tolerated” after the ICBM splashed down in its exclusive economic zone (EEZ).
“We will never yield to any provocative act. We will maximise our pressure” on Pyongyang, Shinzo Abe told reporters.
The defence minister said earlier the missile was thought to have landed within Japan’s EEZ. The Pentagon said it flew about 1,000 kilometers (620 miles) before splashing down in the Sea of Japan.
Japan had “completely tracked” the missile, Abe told reporters.
“We have made a strong complaint,” he added.
By launching the missile, North Korea has ignored the international community’s “united, strong will toward a peaceful solution,” the prime minister said.
“The international community needs to perfectly implement sanctions, in unison.”
Defence Minister Itsunori Onodera later told reporters that the missile had flown for 53 minutes “at an altitude far above 4,000 kilometres.”
“We have not received any reports of damage to airplanes or vessels operating near the area,” said the minister, adding that the missile was fired “at a lofted trajectory.”
Speaking later in parliament, Abe said he had reaffirmed the importance of China in the crisis during a call with US President Donald Trump and praised Beijing for upholding sanctions on North Korea.
“The government welcomes the fact that China is taking concrete steps such as an embargo on imports of North Korea’s coal, marine products, textile products, among others,” Abe told a parliamentary committee.
“Frankly speaking, I feel that China is playing its role” over the UN-agreed sanctions, he said.