TOKYO, February 9. /TASS/. Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and US President Barack Obama held a telephone conversation focusing on North Korea’s latest satellite launch, Japan’s Deputy Chief Cabinet Secretary Hiroshige Seko told reporters on Tuesday.
Abe and Obama spoke in favor of "soonest adoption of the UN resolution on North Korea with tough measures," Seko said adding that the sides also confirmed their plans to continue cooperation in the format Japan-US-South Korea.
The Japanese prime minister said that North Korea’s satellite launch "presents a direct threat to security of Japan, US and the whole world." He called for toughening unilateral sanctions against Pyongyang and said that "measures will be taken in response to the nuclear test, rocket launches and the problem of abducted (Japanese) citizens."
North Korea successfully launched a satellite into space, its state-run TV said on Monday, an action immediately condemned by the United States as "destabilizing and provocative."
Carrier rocket Kwangmyongsong blasted off from the Sohae Space Center at 9 am Sunday local time, state news agency KCNA said. The Kwangmyongsong-4 satellite entered orbit nine minutes and 46 seconds after the liftoff, an operation "great leader Kim Jong Un personally ordered and directed," the TV announcer said.
According to CNN, though North Korea said the launch was for scientific and "peaceful purposes" - adding it plans to launch more satellites - it was viewed by other nations, such as Japan and South Korea, as a front for a ballistic missile test, especially coming on the heels of North Korea's purported hydrogen bomb test last month.