North Korea’s latest missile test has prompted an emergency United Nations Security Council meeting and drawn sharp criticism from key representatives at the meeting.
The missile, launched near the North Korean capital Pyongyang, flew 2,700 kilometres before breaking up and falling into the sea off the Japanese island of Hokkaido.
The test came as United States and South Korean forces conducted annual military exercises on the Korean Peninsula, which the North sees as preparation for an invasion.
North Korea has conducted dozens of missile tests under leader Kim Jong-un in defiance of UN sanctions, but firing projectiles over mainland Japan is rare.
Britain’s deputy UN ambassador, Jonathan Alllen, says the world is united in condemning North Korea’s actions.
“The act by North Korea is a reckless provocation. It is an illegal test. It is against international law and against the resolutions that the Security Council has passed unanimously. So we condemn it completely. We call on North Korea to heed the unanimous position of the international community.”
British prime minister Theresa May is due to visit Japan this week, where she says she will discuss missile-testing with Japanese prime minister Shinzo Abe.
The United States ambassador to the United Nations, Nikki Haley, says more and tougher action must be taken against North Korea.
“What happened yesterday is absolutely unacceptable and irresponsible. We are going to talk about what else is left to do to North Korea. No country should have missiles flying over them like those 130 million people in Japan. It’s unacceptable. They have violated every single UN Security Council resolution that we’ve had. And so I think something serious has to happen. So with all of our partners, what we hope is that China and Russia continue to work with us like they have in the past on North Korea. But I think enough is enough.”
US president Donald Trump has again warned “all options are on the table” as the country considers its response.
Mr Trump says the world has received North Korea’s latest message “loud and clear.”
Japan’s ambassador to the United Nations, Koro Bessho, says his country values President Trump’s backing.
“We appreciate the very strong support that President Trump is showing to Japan, and we appreciate the fact that he said everything, every option, is on the table. But what the United States does is for the United States to decide.”
Russian foreign minister Sergei Lavrov insists North Korea’s missile program must abide by UN resolutions.
He says Russia fully supports Security Council orders.
“We are all committed to UN Security Council resolutions and insist our North Korean neighbours observe them in full.”
Chinese officials say they feel the United States and South Korea are baiting the North by holding their military exercises in the area, though.
Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying has called for all parties to move towards peace talks.
“In the present situation, China urges all relevant sides not to do anything more to irritate each other or worsen regional tensions. We hope all sides can exercise restraint and jointly protect peace and stability on the Peninsula.”