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North Korea fires second ballistic missile over Japan

People in Seoul watch a news report about the missile launch (15 Sept 2017)Image copyrightAFP
Image captionThe launch has been condemned by Japan and South Korea

North Korea has fired a ballistic missile across Japan, its second such move in weeks.

South Korea’s military said the missile reached an estimated altitude of about 770km (478 miles) and travelled 3,700km before landing in the sea off Hokkaido.

Japan’s PM Shinzo Abe said his country would “never tolerate” such “dangerous provocative action”.

“If North Korea continues to walk down this path, it has no bright future,” he said in a statement.

Japanese PM Shinzo Abe speaks to reports in Tokyo (15 Sept 2017)Image copyrightEPA
Image captionPM Shinzo Abe said North Korea had “trampled on the international community’s strong, united resolve toward peace”

US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson also condemned the launch, which contravened UN sanctions.

He put the burden of response on China and Russia, nuclear-armed North Korea’s main economic partners, saying they “must indicate their intolerance for these reckless missile launches by taking direct actions of their own”.

Media captionSouth Korea conducts missile drill in response to N Korea

Minutes after the launch, South Korea fired two ballistic missiles into the sea in a simulated strike on North Korea, reported Yonhap news agency.

President Moon Jae-in held an emergency meeting of his national security council, where he said that dialogue with the North was “impossible in a situation like this”, reported Yonhap news agency.

Mr Moon was elected earlier this year after campaigning partly on conducting more dialogue with Pyongyang.

A TV screen in Tokyo, Japan, display a projected path of the North Korean IRBM, 14 September 2017Image copyrightREUTERS
Image captionThe projected path of the ballistic missile over Hokkaido is shown on TV in Japan

The South Korean military said the latest launch – the first since sanctions were tightened this week – took place from the Sunan airfield north of Pyongyang just before 07:00 local time (22:00 GMT on Thursday).

As with the last launch, it flew over Japan’s northern Hokkaido island before splashing down in the Pacific Ocean.

Sirens sounded across the region and text message alerts were sent out warning people to take cover.

According to the initial estimates, the missile flew considerably higher and further than the one fired on 29 August, which Pyongyang had warned was only “the first step” in its military operations in the Pacific.

Observers said it was likely an intermediate range ballistic missile (IRBM), though Japanese officials said there was still a possibility it had been an intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM).

copyright :http://www.bbc.com/news/world-asia-41275614

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