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Japan's FM calls North Korea missile launch attempt provocation

May 31, 9:31 UTC+3 TOKYO
The multiple launches of missiles by North Korea are provocative acts toward the international community, including Japan, and are totally unacceptable, FM says
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Japanese Foreign Minister Fumio Kishida

Japanese Foreign Minister Fumio Kishida

© Peter Parks/Pool Photo via AP

TOKYO, May 31. /TASS/. Japan believes that North Korea’s recent missile launch attempt is a serious provocation aimed against the international community, Japanese Foreign Minister Fumio Kishida said at a news conference on Tuesday.

"The multiple launches of missiles by North Korea are provocative acts toward the international community, including Japan, and are totally unacceptable," Fumio Kishida told reporters, after South Korea's Joint Chiefs of Staff said North Korea fired a missile but the launch appeared to have failed, the Kyodo news agency reported.

Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga said the missile launch did not pose any direct security threat to Japan. The latest launch comes in the wake of North Korea's three botched attempts to launch what are believed to have been Musudan intermediate-range ballistic missiles since April 15. "In close coordination with the United States and South Korea, Japan will call on North Korea to refrain from conducting provocative acts and adhere to U.N. Security Council resolutions," Suga told a news conference.

South Korea’s Yonhap news agency reported earlier on Tuesday that "North Korea attempted to launch an unidentified missile from Wonsan, Gangwon Province, at around )5:20 am, but it is presumed to have been unsuccessful," the South Korean Joint Chiefs of Staff (JCS) said in a brief text message. The military is studying the details of the launch and is maintaining a high level of combat preparedness, the JCS said. Official sources said the launched missile was a Musudan intermediate-range ballistic missile.

In April, Pyongyang three times attempted to launch this missile, but all the attempts ended in failure.

The situation on the Korean Peninsula deteriorated after North Korea carried out a nuclear test on January 6, and on February 7 launched a carrier rocket with an artificial Earth satellite, in violation of the UN Security Council decisions. In response, the UN Security Council unanimously adopted a resolution to tighten sanctions against North Korea. The document imposes a partial trade blockade on North Korea. UN member countries are now banned from purchasing the following from North Korea - coal, iron ore, rare earth metals, gold, vanadium and titanium. Deliveries of rocket and jet fuel to North Korea were also prohibited, along with any types of weapons and luxury goods.

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