North Korea tests fires another ballistic missile
North Korea has launched a ballistic missile, the US, South Korea and Japan have confirmed.
“North Korea launched an unidentified ballistic missile eastward from the vicinity of Pyongsong, South Pyongan Province, at dawn today,” said a statement by the South’s Joint Chiefs of Staff.
It added that Seoul and the Washington were analyzing the projectiles’ trajectory.
“We detected a probable missile launch from North Korea. We are in the process of assessing the situation and will provide additional details when available,” said Pentagon spokesman Colonel Robert Manning.
The White House also released a statement in which it said that US President Donald Trump has been briefed on the incident.
The Pentagon also announced that the missile was an ICBM which remained aloft for about 1,000 kilometers, and landed in waters off Japan within the country’s exclusive economic zone.
Following the launch, Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe ordered an emergency meeting of cabinet ministers.
US reaction to latest missile test
Trump, who has previously threatened the North with “fire and fury,” gave a guarded response to the ICMB test.
“I will only tell you that we will take care of it, Trump said at the White House. “It is a situation that we will handle,” he added, without further elaboration.
US Secretary Of State Rex Tillerson stressed that diplomatic options were still “viable and open.”
US Defense Secretary Jim Mattis said that the missile had traveled to a higher altitude than the North’s former attempts and was a step toward Pyongyang building missiles that can “threaten everywhere in the world, basically.”
US, Japan, S Korea call for UNSC meeting
Shortly after the test, the United States, Japan and South Korea all called for the holding of a emergency UN Security Council meeting to be held on Wednesday.
“Ambassador [Nikki] Haley and her counterparts from Japan and the Republic of Korea have requested an emergency UN Security Council meeting to be held in the open chamber in response to North Korea’s latest test of an intercontinental ballistic missile,” said a statement released by the US Mission to the United Nations.
“The Security Council session will be held tomorrow, Wednesday, November 29, around 4:30 p.m. EST,” it added.
South Korea slams ICMB test
South Korean President Moon Jae-In condemned Pyongyang’s “reckless” missile test, while warning that the situation on the Korean peninsula was spinning out of control.
Moon noted the North’s latest launch was a “reckless provocation” which would elevate already high tensions to critical levels.
“The situation could get out of control if the North completes the development of ballistic missiles that can fly to a different continent,” he said.
“We have to prevent such a scenario where the North may miscalculate the situation and threaten us with nuclear weapons, or the US may consider a pre-emptive strike (against the North),” he added.
Earlier, Japan and South Korea had said that they intercepted radio signals suggesting that North Korea was preparing for a new ballistic missile test.
Pyongyang sparked an outcry in September when it conducted its sixth and most powerful nuclear test. It has also fired two missiles that controversially flew over Japan before landing in the sea.
North Korea says it needs to develop its missiles and nuclear weapons as a deterrent against hostility by the US and its regional allies.
The US has permanent military presence in the region, including in bases in both South Korea and Japan.