Urgent UN Security Council Meeting Called As North Korea Fires Missile Over Japan

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| August 29 , 2017 , 11:05 IST

North Korea, for the first time successfully fired a missile over Japan, setting off warnings in the northern part of the country for people to seek shelter. The missile flew over the northern island of Hokkaido and broke into pieces before falling into the Pacific Ocean 1,180 km from the Japanese coast.

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe called the missile launch "most serious and grave ever" threat to the country, and had a 40-minute phone call with US President Donald Trump to discuss the same. Soon after, both the countries have requested an urgent meeting of the UN Security Council, the Japan's ambassador to the UN Koro Bessho said.

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"The international community has to put more pressure on North Korea," CNN quoted Ambassador Bessho as saying.

At an emergency press conference, Japan Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga said that the missile had been in flight for 14 minutes.

"There is no immediate report of the fallen objects and no damage to the ships and aircraft," he added.

Prime Minister Abe condemned the launch as a "reckless act."

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"We have fully grasped the movement of the missile immediately after their launch and have been taking every possible effort to protect the lives of people," he said, adding "It is a serious and grave threat which impairs the safety and peace of the region."

Following the missile launch, South Korea responded by conducting a bombing drill to test its "capability to destroy the North Korean leadership" in cases of emergency, a Defence Ministry official said to CNN.

The recent missile launch from North Korea comes three days after Pyongyang test-fired three short-range ballistic missiles from Kangwon province out of which one failed.