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TOKYO, May 14. /TASS/. Japan should cooperate closely with Russia and China to solve North Korea’s missile and nuclear problem, Japanese Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga said Sunday.
"Right now we need to gather and analyze extensive data (about the launch). We need to get support from the United States, South Korea, as well as China and Russia, to respond to the North Korean problem in close cooperation," the official said.
Suga said it is yet to be decided whether Prime Minister Shinzo Abe will discuss Sunday’s launch by phone with the leaders of the United States and South Korea.
According to the Japanese government, a projectile of an unidentified type, believed to be a ballistic missile, was launched from the northwestern city of Kusong early on Sunday. The rocket covered about 800 kilometers and landed in the Sea of Japan, outside Japan’s exclusive economic zone. The previous missile launch from this territory was carried out in February.
According to Japan’s Kyodo news agency, which cited an unnamed Japanese government source, Pyongyang could be testing a new type of a ballistic missile. The assumption is based on the fact that the projectile’s trajectory was very steep and similar to space launches.
"The missile reached an altitude higher than 1,000 kilometers during its flight, raising the possibility that it was launched at a steep "lofted" trajectory. Deliberately firing the missile at such an angle could allow North Korea to test its capabilities without it landing closer to Japan," the agency reported.
The Hawaii-based US Pacific Command said it had detected and assessed the missile launch, and came to a conclusion that "the flight was not consistent with an intercontinental ballistic missile," spokesman Rob Shuford said in a statement.