Japan calls latest North Korean missile launch a ‘serious act of provocation’ – California News

Japan calls latest North Korean missile launch a ‘serious act of provocation’ – California News

North Korea on Friday test-launched yet another ballistic missile over Japan, South Korean officials said, the latest provocation in an escalating standoff with the international community over its illicit nuclear program.

The apparent intermediate-range missile was launched Friday morning near Pyongyang, the capital, flying for roughly 2,200 miles before landing in the North Pacific Ocean, according to South Korean defense officials.

In a show of defense, South Korean military officials said they immediately retaliated by sending a missile of their own about 150 miles into the East Sea, also known as the Sea of Japan — the same distance as the base where the North Korean missile originated.

“Our military is closely monitoring the North Korean army for further provocations with strengthened vigilance by following their movements and maintaining our readiness,” the Defense Ministry said in a statement.

South Korean President Moon Jae-in said his government would hold an emergency meeting in response to the launch.

The initial assessment indicates it was an intermediate-range ballistic missile that launched at 6:57 a.m. near Sunan, North Korea, just north of Pyongyang, said U.S. Navy Cmdr. Dave Benham, a U.S. Pacific Command spokesman. Sunan is the site of Pyongyang’s international airport.

“We are working with our interagency partners on a more detailed assessment, and we will provide a public update if warranted,” Benham said. “We continue to monitor North Korea’s actions closely.”

President Trump was briefed on the launch by White House Chief of Staff John F. Kelly, Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said.

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