Japan to take action with US after N Korea missile test

Prime Minister Abe says Japan ‘will take concrete action with the US’ after Scud missile crashes into Japanese waters.

Japan’s Prime Minister Shinzo Abe says his country will join the United States in taking concrete action against North Korea after its latest ballistic missile test.

On Monday, North Korea test-fired a Scud missile into Japanese waters, the third test in as many weeks and the 12th this year – carried out in defiance of UN sanctions warnings and US threats of possible military action.

“We will never tolerate North Korea’s continued provocations that ignore repeated warnings by the international community,” Abe told reporters shortly after the test.

“As agreed during the G7 summit, the North Korean problem is the international community’s top priority. In order to deter North Korea, we will take concrete action with the United States.”

READ MORE: North Korea fires missile in third test in three weeks

Isolated but nuclear-armed, North Korea has test-fired a missile almost every week for the past three weeks.

The latest, a short-range Scud, flew about 450km before landing in the Sea of Japan (East Sea) between the Korean Peninsula and Japan, the US Pacific Command said.

Monday’s test also marked the second time this year that a North Korean missile fell close to its neighbour Japan.

South Koreans watched a news report on the North Korean missile test in Seoul [Kim Hong-Ji/Reuters]

Michael Penn, president of the Tokyo-based Shingetsu news agency, told Al Jazeera that the latest test was part of a North Korean effort to strengthen its military against any possible threats from the US.

“The missile technology tests themselves do seem to be the priority of the North Korean regime, to get their technology as strong as possible, as quickly as possible.

“They feel this is their best way forward – to show their own ability to defend themselves against a Trump administration they cannot predict,” Penn said.

US: Conflict would be ‘catastrophic’

Despite Trump’s strident warnings, James Mattis, the US secretary of defence, said in an interview that aired on Sunday before the launch that a war with North Korea would be “catastrophic”.

“The North Korean regime has hundreds of artillery cannons and rocket launchers within range of one of the most densely populated cities on Earth, which is the capital of South Korea,” he told CBS News.

“This regime is a threat to the region, to Japan, to South Korea. In the event of war, they would bring danger to China and to Russia as well.

READ MORE: North Korea’s nuclear weapons – Here is all we know

“But the bottom line is, it would be a catastrophic war if this turns into a combat, if we’re not able to resolve this situation through diplomatic means.”

Mattis declined to say what kind of action from Pyongyang would constitute a “red line” for Washington, saying the administration needs “political manoeuvre room.”

‘Direct challenge’

South Korea’s new president, Moon Jae-In, ordered a meeting of the national security council to assess the launch, which came a day after North Korea said its leader Kim Jong-un had overseen a test of a new anti-aircraft weapons system.

South Korea condemned the test as a “grave threat” and a challenge to the new leader who advocates dialogue with North Korea in a break from his conservative predecessors.

OPINION: Is war coming to North Korea?

“That the North repeated such provocations after the inauguration of our new leadership… is a direct challenge to our demand for peace and denuclearisation of the Korean Peninsula,” the foreign ministry said.

The missile launches, and Pyongyang’s threat to stage its sixth nuclear test, have prompted calls for tougher UN sanctions and a warning from Trump that military intervention was an option under consideration.

North korea missile tests reach infographic

Source: Al Jazeera and news agencies

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This entry was posted in North Korea and tagged , by Trần Đình Hoành. Bookmark the permalink.

About Trần Đình Hoành

I am an attorney in the Washington DC area, with a Doctor of Law in the US, attended the master program at the National School of Administration of Việt Nam, and graduated from Sài Gòn University Law School. I aso studied philosophy at the School of Letters in Sài Gòn. I have worked as an anti-trust attorney for Federal Trade Commission and a litigator for a fortune-100 telecom company in Washington DC. I have taught law courses for legal professionals in Việt Nam and still counsel VN government agencies on legal matters. I have founded and managed businesses for me and my family, both law and non-law. I have published many articles on national newspapers and radio stations in Việt Nam. In 1989 I was one of the founding members of US-VN Trade Council, working to re-establish US-VN relationship. Since the early 90's, I have established and managed VNFORUM and VNBIZ forum on VN-related matters; these forums are the subject of a PhD thesis by Dr. Caroline Valverde at UC-Berkeley and her book Transnationalizing Viet Nam. I translate poetry and my translation of "A Request at Đồng Lộc Cemetery" is now engraved on a stone memorial at Đồng Lộc National Shrine in VN. I study and teach the Bible and Buddhism. In 2009 I founded and still manage dotchuoinon.com on positive thinking and two other blogs on Buddhism. In 2015 a group of friends and I founded website CVD - Conversations on Vietnam Development (cvdvn.net). I study the art of leadership with many friends who are religious, business and government leaders from many countries. In October 2011 Phu Nu Publishing House in Hanoi published my book "Positive Thinking to Change Your Life", in Vietnamese (TƯ DUY TÍCH CỰC Thay Đổi Cuộc Sống). In December 2013 Phu Nu Publishing House published my book "10 Core Values for Success". I practice Jiu Jitsu and Tai Chi for health, and play guitar as a hobby, usually accompanying my wife Trần Lê Túy Phượng, aka singer Linh Phượng.

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