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Japan lodges protest as North Korea fires ballistic missiles

By News Express on 10/03/2016

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Japan lodged a protest through diplomatic channels Thursday after North Korea fired two missiles into waters east of the peninsula.

Japanese news agency Kyodo cited unnamed government officials as saying that the protest was filed through diplomatic channels in Beijing on the grounds that the latest launch violated United Nations Security Council resolutions.

The move was also criticised for the risk it posed to the safety of aircraft and ships near the Korean peninsula.

Tokyo’s National Security Council convened after Pyongyang’s actions, with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe demanding an end to “provocative actions”.

He vowed to work closely with the international community in responding “resolutely” against the country.

Defence Minister Gen Nakatani pledged Thursday that Japan would continue its surveillance activities.

“Further provocative acts (by North Korea) cannot be ruled out,” Kyodo quoted him telling reporters.

“While closely coordinating with the United States and South Korea and gathering and analysing necessary information, we will respond to ensure the peace and safety of our country,” he added.

North Korea fired two missiles into waters east of the peninsula Thursday, according to South Korea’s military – marking the latest in a series of provocations by the reclusive state this year alone.

The South’s Joint Chiefs of Staff stated that the ballistic projectiles were blasted from inland near the inter-Korean border shortly before 5.30 a.m. (2030GMT Wednesday), before landing around 500 kilometers (310 miles) eastward.

North Korea was hit by strengthened UN sanctions last week in response to its recent fourth nuclear test and long-range rocket launch.

Hours after the UN measures were announced, Pyongyang had fired six short-range missiles in what appeared to be a show of dissatisfaction with the international community – the United States and South Korea in particular.

The allies began their largest ever annual military drills Monday, but even in previous years the North has accused Seoul and Washington of plotting a resumption of the 1950-53 Korean War.

In February, Japan approved new sanctions against North Korea after the reclusive state conducted the rocket launch – which neighbors and the U.S. called a missile test – earlier in the month.

Abe’s Cabinet had implemented steps that include the ban on third-country ships from entering Japan after visiting ports in the North, and the prohibition of remittances to North Korea in principle.

•Adapted from Anadolu Agency reports. Photo shows ballistic missiles.

Source News Express

Posted 10/03/2016 7:53:28 PM


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