Friday, March 23, 2018
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North Korea missile test angers Japan, South Korea

Japan PM sees 'no bright future' for North Korea 'on this path' while South Korea leader orders live-fire missile drill.


World leaders have condemned North Korea after it conducted its longest-ever test flight of a ballistic missile, with some calling for even tougher sanctions.

Shinzo Abe, Japan's prime minister, called on the international community to band together after the projectile flew over the northern Japanese island of Hokkaido before falling into the Pacific Ocean on Friday.

"The latest sanctions need to be imposed in full," he said. "North Korea needs to be made to understand that if it continues on this path, there is no bright future for it."

READ MORE: North Korea's nuclear weapons: Here is what we know

For his part, South Korea's President Moon Jae-in ordered his military to conduct a live-fire ballistic missile drill.

Moon said having a dialogue with North Korea is "impossible", and the country should face stronger sanctions and pressure from the international community.

"We should be equipped with protecting ourselves from North Korea's growing nuclear and missile threats and to eliminate those threats by quickly punishing them in cases of provocation against us," he said

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

Trump wants China to do more to rein in North Korea. China, in turn, favours an international response to the problem.

James Mattis, the Pentagon chief, said the launch on Friday "put millions of Japanese into duck and cover", although residents in northern Japan appeared calm and went about their business as normal after the second such launch in less than a month.

Rex Tillerson, US secretary of state, called for "new measures" against Pyongyang and said the "continued provocations only deepen North Korea's diplomatic and economic isolation".

"China and Russia must indicate their intolerance for these reckless missile launches by taking direct actions of their own," he said.

Taiwan calls meeting

Taiwan convened a national security meeting, amid fears of deterioration in regional security after North Korea's latest missile launch.

READ MORE: NATO chief calls for united response to North Korea

"Our government condemns North Korea's repeated threats of force damaging regional safety and stability," President Tsai Ing-wen's office said in a statement.

Tsai also called on security and diplomatic agencies to carefully monitor developments and keep close contact with friendly nations to jointly maintain stability and order in the region, according to the statement.

The UN Security Council has called for an emergency meeting on Friday.

Friday's missile launch also came just days before world leaders meet in New York for the UN General Assembly session, which will be attended by a high-level North Korean delegation led by the country's foreign minister.


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