North Korea’s latest ballistic missile launch lands in Japan’s economic zone

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North Korea launched a new short-range ballistic missile, similar to a Scud, on Monday morning, and it flew about 280 miles to land inside Japan’s exclusive economic zone.

This launch is North Korea’s third in three weeks and its 12th this year, underscoring Kim Jong Un’s determination to advance his regime’s technical capabilities and his continued defiance of the international community.

“The firing of the ballistic missile of this time is extremely problematic in terms of safety of aircraft and ships,” Yoshihide Suga, Japan’s chief cabinet secretary, told reporters in an emergency news conference. “It also clearly violates resolutions adopted by the United Nations Security Council.”

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, returning from a Group of Seven meeting in Italy, said that Japan will work with the United States to deter North Korea. The White House said President Trump had been briefed on the latest missile launch, which coincided with the Memorial Day holiday weekend in the United States.

The missile was launched shortly after 5 a.m. local time from an airfield near Wonsan, on North Korea’s east coast, according to the U.S. Pacific Command and South Korea’s joint chiefs of staff.

“The missile was tracked for six minutes until it landed in the Sea of Japan,” Pacific Command said in a statement, adding that it was working to assess the missile. “We continue to monitor North Korea’s actions closely.”

Moon Jae-in, South Korea’s new president, ordered an emergency national security council meeting to discuss the latest launch, and his joint chiefs said that the South Korean military was “maintaining full preparedness.”

Before the latest launch, U.S. Defense Secretary Jim Mattis said that war with North Korea would “probably be the worst kind of fighting in most people’s lifetimes.”

North Korea was threatening the United States with its nuclear weapons, but its conventional weapons could cause huge devastation in South Korea, where half the population lives in the Seoul area, within firing range of North Korean artillery.

“The bottom line is it would be a catastrophic war if this turns into a combat if we’re not able to resolve this situation through diplomatic means,” Mattis told CBS News’s “Face the Nation” on Sunday.

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