‘Unacceptable’: Japan PM condemns North Korea after missile fell in EEZ


Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida on Friday condemned North Korea for firing a ballistic missile that landed within his country’s exclusive economic zone (EEZ), in what the Coast Guard said was roughly 210 km from an island in northern Hokkaido, according to the news agency Reuters.

The Prime Minister called the launch “absolutely unacceptable”, saying there had been no reports of damage to ships or aircraft, as per AFP reports. 

The EEZ extends up to 200 nautical miles from Japan’s coastline, beyond the limits of its territorial waters. The Japanese defence ministry had earlier said the missile was “ICBM-class”.

“We naturally lodged a strong protest against North Korea, which has repeated its provocations with unprecedented frequency. We have told (Pyongyang) that we absolutely cannot tolerate such actions,” Kishida told reporters in Thailand, where he is attending the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation summit meeting.

Notably, it was North Korea’s second missile launch in two days, as the isolated state continues a record-breaking blitz that has sent fears of a nuclear test soaring.

“Japan, the US and South Korea must coordinate closely to work toward the complete denuclearisation of North Korea,” Kishida added. 

Earlier on Thursday evening, the Japanese Prime Minister had also expressed “serious concerns” to Chinese President Xi Jinping on security issues including North Korea after the two leaders held their first face-to-face talks, AFP reported.

“On North Korea, I expressed our expectation that China will play a role, including in the UN security council,” Kishida told reporters after talks with Chinese President on the sidelines of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) forum in Thailand.

Bloomberg news reported that North Korea has bristled for decades at joint military exercises, calling them a prelude to an invasion. The US, Japan and South Korea have all warned that Kim’s regime seems to be ready to turn tensions even higher with its first test of a nuclear bomb in about five years.

North Korea has also been looking to increase the strength of a larger bomb, which could be mounted on an ICBM to target the US homeland.

 

(With inputs from agencies)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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