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UN holds emergency meeting on N. Korea’s latest missile launch


By Reuters/AFP

Tokyo/Seoul — North Korea fired a missile that flew over Japan and landed in waters off the northern region of Hokkaido early on Tuesday, South Korean and Japanese officials said, marking a sharp escalation of tensions on the Korean peninsula.

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said Tuesday that he and US President Donald Trump agreed to hike pressure on North Korea.

‘’Increasing pressure — Japan and the United States are in complete agreement about this,’’ Abe added, without elaborating.

Abe also said that Japan will take “full steps’’ to ensure the safety of its people.

“Their outrageous act of firing a missile over our country is an unprecedented, serious and grave threat and greatly damages the regional peace and security,’’ he told reporters.

The UN Security Council was scheduled to hold an emergency meeting Tuesday afternoon over North Korea’s latest missile launch at the request of Japan and the United States, diplomats said.

Japan’s Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga said the latest North Korean missile fell into the sea 1,180 km (735 miles) east of the Cape of Erimo on Hokkaido.

The Japanese government’s J-Alert system broke into radio and TV programming, warning citizens of the possible missile. Bullet train services were temporarily halted and warnings went out over loudspeakers in towns in Hokkaido.

South Korea’s military said the missile was launched from the Sunan region near the North Korean capital just before 6 a.m. (2100 GMT Monday) and flew 2,700 km (1,680 miles), reaching an altitude of about 550 km (340 miles).

The Japanese military did not attempt to shoot down the missile, which passed over Japanese territory around 6:07 a.m. local time (2107 GMT). It broke into three pieces and fell into waters off Hokkaido, Japanese public broadcaster NHK reported.

In Washington, the Pentagon confirmed the missile flew over Japan but said it did not pose a threat to North America and said it was gathering further information.

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