Japan and North Korea Claim North Korea Performed Ballistic Missile Launch

South Korean and Japanese officials reported that North Korea launched a ballistic missile into its eastern waters on Wednesday.

Japan’s senior vice defense minister Makoto Oniki said the missile was launched at 12:02 p.m. near North Korea’s western coast and fell into waters outside Japan’s exclusive economic zone.

Separate reports from Japan and the South Korean military indicated that the missile flew 470 kilometers at Mach 11 speeds after reaching an altitude of over 800 kilometers where it traveled a distance of around 500 kilometers.

Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida told reporters in Italy that the latest launch “absolutely cannot be condoned as it threatens the peace and safety of the international community.” 

Japan’s embassy in Beijing registered a protest with North Korea, and the prime minister directed relevant government agencies to confirm the safety of ships and aircraft, as well as convey prompt information to the public.

Both Defense Minister Suh Wook and Lloyd Austin, his American counterpart, condemned the North’s launch as a “clear” breach of UN resolutions and an act that undermines peace on the Korean Peninsula and in the Indo-Pacific region.

Austin, in a report by South Korean news agency Yonhap, reaffirmed the US’ “iron-clad” security commitment to South Korea’s defense.

In a statement posted on the US Department of Defense website, it said that Austin and Japanese Defense Minister Kishi Nobuo “affirmed the need to continue close collaboration with allies and partners to bolster integrated deterrence and promote the norms, values, and institutions that underpin the rules-based international order.”

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