Japan Strongly Condemns Suspected Missile Test by North Korea, Chief Cabinet Secretary Says
TOKYO (Sputnik) - Japanese government has decried the second missile test conducted by North Korea in a week, saying it undermines peace and security in the region, Japanese Chief Cabinet Secretary Hirokazu Matsuno said on Tuesday.
"North Korea's actions pose a threat to the peace and security of our country, the broader region, and the entire international community. We strongly condemn such actions," Matsuno said at a briefing.
He confirmed that Japan has detected North Korea's ballistic missile test at around 7:25 a. m. (22:25 GMT) on Monday, adding that Tokyo is currently analyzing the information. No information about the damage to ships or aircraft has been reported.
A missile fired by North Korea have probably landed outside Japan's exclusive economic zone, Japanese Kyodo News Agency said.
Nonetheless, the Japan Coast Guard has urged ships to be cautious and vigilant if an unidentified object is detected.
Following the reports of a possible missile test, a crisis headquarters was established at the prime minister's office. At a briefing, Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida said that agencies must scrutinize the situation, including with the safety of air and sea transportation, timely inform the population, and take all necessary precautions in case of unforeseen developments.
The incident, if confirmed, would be the second missile test conducted by North Korea in a week after a supersonic missile launch on Wednesday, which, according to the North Korean media flew 700 kilometers and "accurately hit the target."
On Monday Albania, France, Ireland, Japan, the United Kingdom, and the United States issued a joint statement to condemn the 5 January North Korea's missile launch, saying that the Pyongyang's continued pursuit of weapons of mass destruction compromises regional and international stability by elevating the risk of "miscalculation and escalation." The countries urged North Korea to abandon its ballistic missile programs, and "engage in meaningful dialogue" to achieve peace at the Korean Peninsula.