Pyongyang launches new missile into the Sea of Japan

It is unclear whether it was a ballistic rocket. The Japanese government has expressed concern. Yesterday, the North Koreans did not respond to daily calls from authorities in the South.



Seoul (AsiaNews/Agencies) - North Korea this morning launched a short-range missile into the Sea of Japan. The Joint Chiefs of Staff of the South Korean Armed Forces report the launch without, however, specifying whether the rocket was a ballistic type. Seoul's National Security Council immediately convened to analyze the launch. The Japanese government reported that the carrier landed outside its exclusive economic zone.

Three days ago Kim Yo-jong, North Korean leader Kim Jong-un's sister, had stated that Pyongyang would be willing to discuss an improvement in inter-Korean relations if Seoul dropped its hostile and aggressive attitude. But yesterday North Korea did not respond to the South's calls, writes the Yonhap news agency. The communist regime rejected daily calls at 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. and also a call relayed through a military communication line. 

According to the U.S. Indo-Pacific Command, the launch poses "an immediate threat to U.S. personnel or territory, or to our allies, the missile launch highlights the destabilizing impact of the DPRK's illicit weapons program," the command said, referring to the North by the acronym of its official name, the Democratic People' Republic of Korea. 

This morning's launch is the latest in a series of provocations. On Sept. 13, Pyongyang had launched a long-range cruise missile. Two days later it tested two ballistic missiles, one of which came from a rail convoy.