North Korea fired an unidentified missile early Friday from the Sunan district in the nation’s capital, Pyongyang, which landed 2,000 kilometres east of the Japanese island of Hokkaido in the Pacific ocean.
The United States Secretary of State, Rex Tillerson, urged China and Russia on Thursday to take direct action against North Korea, saying that China supplies most of the oil and that “Russia is the largest employer of North Korean forced labour.”
“China and Russia must indicate their intolerance for these reckless missile launches by taking direct actions of their own,” Tillerson said in a statement.
The missile was fired in the eastern direction, according to the South Korean military. Both the South Korean and U.S. militaries are analyzing details of the launch, according to the South’s Office of the Joint Chiefs of staff.
U.S President Donald Trump has been briefed on the recent launch by North Korea and and has vowed in the past that North Korea will never be allowed to threaten the United States with a nuclear-tipped missile. He has also asked China to take steps to tame its neighbour, though China favours an international response.
According to reports from the BBC, Japan has warned its residents to take shelter. Bloomberg reports that the unidentified missile passed over Japan airspace near Hokkaido at 7:06 a.m., local time.
Japan has reportedly issued a missile alert to mobile phones and national television stations, informing residents of the missile launch.
U.S. Defense Secretary Jim Mattis said on Thursday thatNorth Korea‘s missile launch over Japan “put millions of Japanese into duck and cover” before it landed in the Pacific Ocean, and added that top U.S. officials had fully coordinated after the test-launch.
WATCH: Warnings and sirens sounded as a North Korean missile flew over Japan on Friday Morning.
“We have just got done with the calls we always make to coordinate among ourselves. Steady as she goes,” Mattis told reporters traveling with him during a visit to the U.S. Strategic Command, which oversees U.S. nuclear forces.
South Korea’s presidential Blue House has subsequently called an urgent meeting of the National Security Council.
Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said on Friday that United Nations sanctions on North Korea needed to be firmly imposed.
Abe, speaking to reporters, said that the international community must send a clear message to North Korea over its provocative actions.
The latest launch comes just one day after North Korea threatened to sink Japan and reduce the United States to “ashes and darkness” for their support of a U.N. Security Council resolution imposing new sanctions against the region for its nuclear test on September 3.
Satellite images recently revealed that North Korea had resumed working at the secretive state’s mountainous nuclear test site, despite new United Nations sanctions, according to a U.S.-based watchdog.
The North previously launched a ballistic missile from Sunan on Aug. 29 which flew over Japan’s Hokkaido island and landed in the Pacific waters.
— With files from Reuters.
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