Governments condemn North Korea’s ballistic missile test over Japan
Nations across the Indo-Asia-Pacific and around the globe condemned North Korea’s August 28, 2017, missile launch over Japan and began contemplating the next steps to address the ongoing actions by the regime, according to wire service reports.
Australia, Indonesia, Japan, the Philippines, South Korea, Taiwan and the United States all quickly denounced North Korea’s actions and urged the regime to comply with international sanctions, Kyodo News reported. The ballistic missile landed in waters off Hokkaido, Japan, after flying over land. It was the 21st missile North Korea had fired during 14 tests since February 2017, according to CNN, and the fourth test in a period of four days.
“The world has received North Korea’s latest message loud and clear: This regime has signaled its contempt for its neighbors, for all members of the United Nations, and for minimum standards of acceptable international behavior,” U.S. President Donald J. Trump said in a statement released two days after the test that also reiterated that “all options are on the table.”
Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and Trump agreed that an emergency meeting of the U.N. Security Council is needed to once again increase pressure on North Korea, The Associated Press reported.
“Japan’s and the U.S.’ positions are totally at one,” Abe said in a statement released soon after the test. (Pictured: A man watches a TV news report about the response from Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, left, and U.S. President Donald J. Trump a day after North Korea launched a ballistic missile over Japan.)
South Korea’s Foreign Ministry issued a similar statement within hours of the test: “We will respond strongly based on our steadfast alliance with the United States if North Korea continues nuclear and missile provocations.”
The Republic of Korea (ROK) Air Force responded to the missile launch with a live-fire drill, according to an ROK spokesman. Four ROK F-15 fighters hit targets with MK-84 bombs, according to Park Su-hyun, South Korea’s presidential spokesman, The Associated Press reported. South Korea also conducted flight tests of two types of new missiles with ranges of 800 and 500 kilometers during the previous week in response to two other missiles tested just days before the late August 2017 test.
Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull and Foreign Minister Julie Bishop said in a joint statement that the missile launch “represents a serious escalation by Pyongyang” and amounts to “a provocative and threatening act by a dangerous regime.”
The Philippines and the 10-member Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) seek to resolve the conflict peacefully, according to a statement released by Philippine Foreign Secretary Alan Peter Cayetano. The Philippines is chairman of ASEAN for 2017. “While we are ready to do our part, provocations such as this latest missile launch should stop” to help establish an “environment that would be conducive for dialogue,” he said.
The European Union also condemned North Korea’s launch. “We fully support calls for an emergency meeting of the U.N. Security Council today,” EU foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini said. She said the EU will evaluate an “appropriate response in close consultation with key partners and in line with U.N. Security Council deliberations,” Reuters reported.
In addition, Kyodo News reported that Australia urged China and Russia to “use their bilateral economic leverage over Pyongyang to persuade” North Korea to halt its efforts to develop missile and nuclear weapons systems, which the U.N. has banned and implemented various international sanctions to suppress.
Australian Foreign Minister Bishop also said the launch seemed to be another attempt to improve North Korea’s bargaining position. “We have seen this pattern of behavior by the North Korean regimes over a number of decades,” she said, according to The Associated Press “They ramp up the provocative behavior, and it gets to a point where they then sit down and negotiate. I would like to think it’s the former at this point.”