Japanese PM slams N. Korea's ballistic missile launch

TOKYO, March 18 (KUNA) — Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe denounced North Korea’s medium-range ballistic missile launch into the Sea of Japan on Friday.
“The missile launch violates UN Security Council resolutions, the 2002 Japan-North Korea Pyongyang Declaration, as well as the 2005 Six Party Joint Statement. Japan firmly condemns it,” Abe told a parliamentary session.
“The missile launch is extremely problematic in terms of the safety of aircraft and ships. Japan immediately lodged a protest with North Korea through the Foreign Ministry,” Abe said.
“Japan will address the missile launch in a resolute manner closely working with the international community. We demand North Korea exercise self-restraint, while taking necessary measures with a sense of tension, including warnings and surveillance activities, in order to respond to any situation.” The Premier also held the National Security Council meeting, in which he instructed relevant ministries and agencies to collect and analyze information in coordination with the countries concerned including the US and South Korea, secure the safety of aircraft and ships, and promptly provide accurate information to the public.
According to the Cabinet Office, North Korea fired a medium-range ballistic missile eastward from the country’s west coast at around 5:54 am (20:54 GMT Thursday), and it flew some 800 kilometers and fell into the Sea of Japan. There are no reports of damage in Japan, the Office said. The launch follows its firing of two short-range ballistic missiles into the sea on March 10. (end) mk.hb