SEOUL,(Pakistan Point News - APP - 4th Augst,2016) - North Korea Wednesday fired a ballistic missile directly into Japanese-controlled waters for the first time, drawing an outraged response from Tokyo and ramping up tensions with the United States and South Korea. The US military said the North had actually launched two Rodong intermediate-range missiles simultaneously, but one appeared to have exploded on take-off. The launches followed a North Korean threat of "physical action" over the planned deployment of a sophisticated US anti-missile system in South Korea, and came just weeks before the start of large-scale joint South Korea-US military exercises.
Japan said the one missile had landed in the Sea of Japan (East Sea), some 250 kilometres (155 miles) off its north coast and within its Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ). "It's a serious threat against our country's security," Prime Minister Shinzo Abe told reporters. "This is an outrageous act that cannot be tolerated." The United States condemned what it called a clear violation of UN Security Council resolutions explicitly banning North Korea's use of ballistic missile technology.
"This provocation only serves to increase the international community's resolve to counter (North Korea's) prohibited activities," said Pentagon spokesman Gary Ross. The European Union said the North was "clearly violating" its international obligations set out in multiple UN resolutions. Germany's foreign ministry said Pyongyang has "deliberately put at risk the security of another country". US Strategic Command said the two missiles were launched from a site in western North Korea at around 7:50am Seoul time (22:50 GMT Tuesday).
"Initial indications reveal one of the missiles exploded immediately after launch, while the second was tracked over North Korea and into the Sea of Japan," it said in a statement. It was the first time a North Korean missile has been fired direct into Japanese waters. The second stage of a missile fired over Japan had splashed down inside the EEZ off Japan's Pacific Ocean coast in 1998. Japan's top government spokesman Yoshihide Suga slammed Pyongyang for providing no advance warning of Wednesday's test.