Tokyo condemns North Korean rocket landing in Sea of Japan
The missile launched from a submarine near Sinpo and traveled for 500 kilometers. Shinzo Abe condemns' "reckless action". Weapons launched from submarines are very difficult to detect. Military exercises begin between South Korea and the United States.
Pyongyang (AsiaNews / Agencies) - A missile fired from a North Korean submarine landed in the Sea of Japan, in Tokyo's Air Defense Identification Zone (ADIZ). The KN-11 rocket was launched from the waters near Sinpo, a town on the east coast of North Korea. Before landing the missile traveled 500 km.
Prime Minister of Japan, Shinzo Abe, has condemned the incident, calling it "a reckless action". The US State Department has "strongly condemned" the Pyongyang test.
The rocket launch took place as South Korea and the United States began annual military exercises, called "Ulchi Freedom". The exercises involve 80 thousand soldiers of both nations, simulating the defense of Seoul from a fictitious invasion by Pyongyang.
Today the foreign ministers of Japan, China and South Korea are scheduled to meet in Tokyo.
A UN resolution prohibits North Korea from developing missile and nuclear technologies, but in recent months the leader Kim Jong-un has continued to order ballistic tests. August 3 last a missile launched from North Korea sank in Japanese territorial waters. On July 19 last, Pyongyang launched three rockets with range of 500-600 kilometers.
This morning's act of defiance follows Washington sanctions against North Korea and the decision of the US government and South Korea to build the Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (Thaad), missile defense system capable of locating and destroying the missiles launched by North Korea in flight. China and Russia have opposed the project.
Today's rocket launch took place from aboard a submarine, and rates as one of North Korea's more successful. This type of rocket (SLBM) is greatly feared because of the mobility of submarines and the difficulty of detecting preparations for a launch.