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A view of a screen displaying a Japanese national TV news program broadcasting a J-Alert warning system after North Korea launched a ballistic missile towards Japan, in Tokyo, Japan, Sept. 15, 2017. EPA-EFE/FRANCK ROBICHON
A view of a screen displaying a Japanese national TV news program broadcasting a J-Alert warning system after North Korea launched a ballistic missile towards Japan, in Tokyo, Japan, Sept. 15, 2017. EPA-EFE/FRANCK ROBICHON

North Korean missile overflies Japan

North Korea fired a ballistic missile on Friday morning, an act of defiance against the new sanctions resolution adopted days earlier by the United Nations…

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North Korea fired a ballistic missile on Friday morning, an act of defiance against the new sanctions resolution adopted days earlier by the United Nations Security Council.

The missile passed over Japan — where an alert was issued, on television and via cellphones, warning people to take shelter inside a building or underground — and traveled 2,300 miles, the farthest of any of North Korea’s launches, before plunging into the Pacific Ocean.

Japanese government spokesman Yoshihide Suga told reporters that the missile fell into the ocean some 2,000 kilometers from the town of Erimo in eastern Hokkaido without being seen to do so by any ships or aircraft in that area, according to EFE.

The South Korean President's Office immediately called a meeting of that country's National Security Council and troops of the Asian nation undertook a ballistic missile test in the Sea of Japan to the east of the Korean Peninsula in response to the launch.

This is the first missile launch by North Korea since the end of August, when the Kim Jong-un regime fired another projectile over northern Japan, and the first weapons test since Pyongyang carried out its sixth, and to date most powerful, nuclear test on Sept. 3.

The United States Secretary of State on Thursday, and Japan's Prime Minister on Friday, condemned North Korea's latest provocative missile launch, which again flew over Japan, and urged all nations to implement new measures against the Pyongyang regime.

  "We call on all nations to take new measures against the Kim regime," US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said in a statement released by the Department of State in Washington.

  In particular, the head of US diplomacy urged China and Russia, which have close ties to North Korea, to show their "intolerance for these reckless missile launches by taking direct actions of their own" against Pyongyang.

  In response to this latest missile launch, Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said Friday that his country will "never tolerate" North Korea's "dangerous provocative action that threatens world peace."

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  "We can never tolerate that North Korea trampled on the international community's strong, united resolve toward peace that has been shown in UN resolutions and went ahead again with this outrageous act," Abe told the media, referring to the latest sanctions approved earlier this week by the UN Security Council.

  Tillerson said that this latest missile launch is "the second time the people of Japan, a treaty ally of the United States, have been directly threatened in recent weeks."

  "China supplies North Korea with most of its oil. Russia is the largest employer of North Korean forced labor," he said.

  "These continued provocations only deepen North Korea's diplomatic and economic isolation," he added.

  "United Nations Security Council resolutions, including the most recent unanimous sanctions resolution, represent the floor, not the ceiling, of the actions we should take," Tillerson said.

  Previously, the United States Pacific Command (USPACOM) confirmed that North Korea launched an intermediate-range ballistic missile over northern Japan, although it did not pose a threat to North America or to Guam, an American island territory in the western Pacific. 

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