TOKYO (Sputnik) – Earlier Sunday, North Korea fired a long-range rocket, defying a UN Security Council resolution banning Pyongyang from launching rockets that may be used as long-range ballistic missiles carrying nuclear warheads. Japan’s National Security Council held a meeting shortly after the incident. The rocket flew over Japan's Okinawa prefecture.
"In regards to DPRK, we intend to, closely cooperating with the international community, to take measures without hesitation. The government will take all efforts to ensure the safety of the people," the statement read.
Earlier this week, the International Maritime Organization (IMO) confirmed it had received North Korea’s notification of plans to launch a satellite between February 8 and 25. Pyongyang later changed the launch dates by one day.
Tensions over North Korea's nuclear and ballistic missile programs escalated after Pyongyang said on January 6 that it had successfully carried out a hydrogen bomb test, triggering condemnation from the international community.