August 04, 2016 09:10
North Korea fired two mid-range ballistic missiles on Wednesday morning, one of which flew some 1,000 km and fell into Japan's exclusive economic zone.
The other exploded above the ground immediately after launch.
The Joint Chiefs of Staff here on Wednesday said the North fired two presumed Rodong missiles from South Hwanghae Province into the East Sea around 7:50 a.m.
Japanese Defense Minister Gen Nakatani said one missile came down in Japan's EEZ 250 km west of the Oga Peninsula in Akita Prefecture.
At this rate, a Rodong missile fired from North Korea's east coast could strike major Japanese cities like Tokyo. If the range is the full touted 1,300 km, it could hit any target on the Japanese islands including Yokosuka naval base, where a U.S. aircraft carrier fleet is located.
Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe condemned the launch as a "grave threat" to Japan's security and an "unforgivable act of violence."
He added Tokyo will "resolutely respond in cooperation with the United States and South Korea."
In South Korea, Foreign Minister Yun Byung-se said the latest missile launch further confirms the need for the deployment of U.S. Terminal High-Altitude Area Defense batteries here.
"This shows how realistic the North's missile threat is," Yun told reporters.
The ministry in a statement condemned what it called an "open violation of the UN Security Council resolution and a serious threat to [South Korea], neighboring countries and the international community."
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