Nuclear-armed North Korea test-fired a ballistic missile farther than ever before on Tuesday (October 4), sending it soaring over Japan for the first time in five years and prompting a warning for residents there to take cover.
“The Secretary-General strongly condemns the launch of a ballistic missile of possible intermediate range by the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) on 4 October,” said United Nations spokesman for the Secretary-General Stephane Dujarric, in a statement on the U.N.’s website. “This was a reckless act and a violation of Security Council resolutions. It is also of serious concern that the DPRK has again disregarded any consideration for international flight or maritime safety. The Secretary-General urges the DPRK to resume dialogue with the key parties concerned with a view to achieving sustainable peace and the complete and verifiable denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula.”
The United States will also ask the United Nations Security Council to meet publicly on Wednesday on North Korea, a U.S. official said.
It was the first North Korean missile to follow such a trajectory since 2017, and its estimated 4,600 km (2,850 mile) range was the longest traveled by a North Korean test missile, which are usually “lofted” high into space to avoid flying over neighboring countries.
In response to the test, U.S. and South Korean warplanes practiced bombing a target in the Yellow Sea and fighter jets from the United States and Japan also carried out joint drills over the Sea of Japan, the U.S. military said.
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Japan warned its citizens to take cover and suspended some train services when the missile passed over its north before falling into the Pacific Ocean.
It was the latest in an escalating cycle of muscle flexing. A U.S. aircraft carrier made a port call in South Korea for the first time since 2018 on Sept. 23, and North Korea has conducted five launches in the last 10 days.
By Reuters (Production: Roselle Chen)