North Korea threatened Friday to take “stronger” actions against the United States in a warning that came hours after the launch of a missile over Japan.
The North fired an apparent intermediate-range ballistic missile from Pyongyang earlier in the day. It marked the first launch after the U.N. Security Council (UNSC) slapped new sanctions on the wayward regime Monday.
“If the U.S. continues to walk on the current course, we will take stronger actions for our self-defense,” the Rodong Sinmun, a mouthpiece of the ruling party, said in a commentary.
“The U.S. should face up to a grim reality and make a decision to give up its hostile policy toward Pyongyang. It should make a wise decision to detach itself from issues on the Korean Peninsula,” it added.
Warning announcements about the missile blared around 7 a.m. (2200 GMT Thursday) in parts of northern Japan, while many residents received alerts on their mobile phones or saw warnings on TV telling them to seek refuge.
U.S. Secretary of Defense Jim Mattis said the launch “put millions of Japanese into duck and cover”, although residents in northern Japan appeared calm and went about their business as normal after the second such launch in less than a month.
South Korea’s top diplomat held talks with her counterparts in the U.S. and Japan to discuss countermeasures Friday to North Korea’s latest test of a missile that flew over Japan, a foreign ministry official said.
During the phone talks that lasted three to four minutes, Foreign Minister Kang Kyung-wha and U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson exchanged their views on how to respond to the missile launch, according to the official.
The U.N. Security Council will hold an emergency meeting Friday (U.S. time) to discuss its approach toward the North’s missile launch.
It is said that Seoul, Washington and Tokyo have jointly asked for such a meeting.
The provocation came days after the Security Council unanimously adopted fresh sanctions against the North for its sixth and most powerful nuclear test denotation Sept. 3.
Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe issued a warning to North Korea on Friday after the communist country launched an apparent intermediate-range ballistic missile over Japan.
“North Korea should understand that there will be no bright future if it continues to follow the path like this,” Abe told reporters shortly after returning from his trip to India.
Japan “could not condone the committing of this kind of provocation repeatedly,” Abe said.
“The latest North Korean missile launch only makes it clear once again that U.N. sanctions resolutions should be thoroughly implemented,” he also said, calling on the international community to cooperate to deter North Korean provocations.
The prime minister also vowed thorough defense readiness based on the United States-Japan alliance. Japan is also to convene a national security council meeting to discuss the latest North Korean missile launch.