Shinzo Abe condemns North Korea missile launch

SEOUL, Aug. 3 (UPI) — Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe condemned North Korea‘s missile provocation as a serious threat that is “difficult to forgive,” hours after Pyongyang launched a missile that landed in Japanese waters.

Abe told reporters on Wednesday that Tokyo would work together with Washington and Seoul to respond to the provocations.

The prime minister also called for the “verification of security” on aircraft and ships entering the country.

The missile that traveled 620 miles on Wednesday marks the first time a North Korea projectile landed in Japan’s exclusive economic zone.

In 1998 North Korea fired a two-stage Taepodong-1 ballistic missile across Japan that landed in the Pacific Ocean.

The mid-range Rodong missile Pyongyang launched on Wednesday flew in a northeasterly direction and landed in an area about 155 miles west of Akita Prefecture.

The missile can be equipped with a warhead weighing up to 1,500 pounds but because it has a Circular Error Probability of more than 1.2 miles when reaching a distance of 620 miles its accuracy is not guaranteed, according to South Korea military.

Seoul’s joint chiefs of staff stated Wednesday Pyongyang is testing the capability of its long-range missiles.

Seoul also said two missiles were fired early Wednesday and one of the projectiles exploded mid-air.

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