North Korea fired a ballistic missile again over Hokkaido, Japan on Friday, only three days after the U.N. Security Council adopted a new resolution to sanction the isolated regime for its 6th nuclear test on September 3. North Korea has conducted 10 missile tests since the inauguration of the Moon Jae-in administration.
According to military sources, the latest North Korean missile was fired from the Sunan airbase in Pyongyang at 5:57 a.m. on Friday and reached a maximum altitude of 770 kilometers. The missile travelled roughly 3,700 kilometers, passing through the sky over Japan, before it fell into the North Pacific Ocean.
The missile was fired at an angle between 35 and 45 degrees as the North had fired the missile over August 29, but the missile travelled roughly 1,000 kilometers longer, setting a new record for the longest ballistic missile flight ever by North Korea. The military thinks North Korea is trying to show its force with its missiles to the U.S. and to prove that U.S. Andersen Base in Guam is in the range. "It seems that North Korea fired an intermediate range ballistic missile (IRBM). Detailed analysis of specific missile type and whether the missile reentered through the atmosphere is under way," said a source in the military. In response, South Korea fired two Hyunmoo II ballistic missiles toward the sky over the Eastern Sea just six minutes after North Korea's provocation, showing its determination to counterattack. Unfortunately, one missile exploded in the sky in just a few seconds after it had taken off.
South Korean President Moon Jae-in, who had been received a briefing about the North's possible missile launch a day ago, convened a National Security Council meeting on Friday morning. "In case North Korea tries to provoke South Korea or its ally, we have the power to nullify it immediately and destroy North Korea beyond recovery," said the president. "We will try to draw up a firm and effective measure to deal with the North."
The White House said President Donald Trump had received a briefing about North Korea's missile launch by White House Chief of Staff John Kelly. U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson released a statement in which he wrote: "China supplies North Korea with most of its oil. Russia is the largest employer of North Korean forced labor. China and Russia must indicate their intolerance for these reckless missile launches by taking direct actions of their own." Upon a request by South Korea, the U.S. and Japan, the U.N. Security Council held a closed-door emergency meeting at 3 p.m. on Friday (local time).