North Korea Fired its first ballistic missile since the Donald Trump took the president office in America, a move denounced by Japan’s leader who won “100 percent” backing from the new US President.
Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, whose country Japan would be in range of a hostile North Korea , called the launch “absolutely intolerable”. South Korea said Pyongyang was testing Trump.
The missile was launched around 7:55 am (2255 GMT Saturday) from Banghyon air base in the western province of North Pyongan, and flew east towards the Sea of Japan (East Sea), the South’s defence ministry said.
It flew about 500 kilometres (310 miles) before falling into the sea, a ministry spokesman said, adding the exact type of missile had yet to be identified.
“Today’s missile launch… is aimed at drawing global attention to the North by boasting its nuclear and missile capabilities”, the ministry said in a statement.
“It is also believed that it was an armed provocation to test the response from the new US administration under President Trump,” it added.
The US Strategic Command said it detected and tracked what it assessed to be a medium-range ballistic missile.
It was the first such missile test by North Korea since last October.
Trump responded with an assurance to the visiting Abe that Washington was committed to the security of its key Asian ally.
“I just want everybody to understand and fully know that the United States of America stands behind Japan, its great ally, 100 percent,” he said, without elaborating.
Abe denounced the launch as “absolutely intolerable” while top government spokesman Yoshihide Suge told reporters in Tokyo it was “clearly a provocation to Japan and the region”.
With Inputs from :AFP