North Korea test fires ballistic missile with range capable to strike U.S. mainland

Leaders of the United States, South Korea, Japan and allied countries convened an emergency meeting during an Asian summit on Friday and condemned North Korea’s firing of a suspected intercontinental ballistic missile, calling for a united response.

The missile, which landed just 200 kilometres off Japan, was capable of reaching the mainland United States, Japanese officials said.

Meeting on the sidelines of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) meeting in Bangkok, U.S. Vice-President Kamala Harris called the launch a “brazen violation” of multiple UN resolutions and said North Korea’s actions were destabilizing for security in the region.

The North’s ongoing torrid run of weapons tests aims to advance its nuclear arsenal and win greater concessions in eventual diplomacy, and the launches come as China and Russia have opposed U.S. moves to toughen sanctions aimed at curbing North Korea’s nuclear program.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau speaks during a meeting with allies on North Korea’s recent ballistic missile launch during the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) summit in Bangkok on Friday. (Haiyun Jiang/Pool/AFP/Getty Images)

South Korea’s Joint Chiefs of Staff said it detected the ICBM launch from North Korea’s capital region around 10:15 a.m. and the weapon flew toward the North’s eastern coast across the country. Japan said the ICBM appeared to have flown on a high trajectory and landed west of Hokkaido.

According to South Korean and Japanese estimates, the North Korean missile flew about 6,000-6,100 kilometres at a maximum altitude of 1,000 kilometres.

Trudeau condemns missile launch

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said North Korea’s move needed to be condemned “by all regions around the world,” while Australian counterpart Anthony Albanese said the missile launches were “reckless actions.”

“We stand with the world, and indeed with our allies, in opposing and condemning this action in the strongest possible terms,” Albanese said.

South Korean Prime Minister Han Duck-soo said the North’s activities were illegal and “will never be tolerated,” calling for a united front and a resolute response.

Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida said such launches were occurring with “unprecedented high frequency” lately. “There is the possibly that North Korea will launch further missiles,” he warned.

The incident came a day after a smaller missile launch by the North and its warning of “fiercer military responses” to the U.S. boosting its regional security presence.

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