Japanese PM calls for firm sanctions on North Korea

Following North Korea's latest missile launch, Japanese PM says the international community must send it a clear message.

Ben Ariel ,

Shinzo Abe
Shinzo Abe

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said on Thursday night that United Nations sanctions on North Korea must be firmly imposed.

Abe, speaking to reporters and quoted by Reuters, said that the international community must send a clear message to North Korea over its provocative actions.

His comments came hours after North Korea launched a missile over Japanese airspace, for the second time in a month.

The missile flew over Japan's northern Hokkaido far out into the Pacific Ocean, South Korean and Japanese officials said.

The U.S. military confirmed it had detected the launch of a single North Korean intermediate range ballistic missile that flew over northern Japan before landing in the Pacific Ocean.

The missile did not pose a threat to North America or to Guam, it said in a statement.

Japan's public broadcasting network NHK said the missile passed over Japanese airspace near Hokkaido, the same prefecture under which a KN-17 intermediate-range missile travelled on August 28.

The latest missile launch comes amid ongoing tensions between North Korea and the U.S. and its allies.

Several days after launching a missile over Japan, North Korea announced it had successfully tested a hydrogen bomb, its sixth and most powerful nuclear test.

The UN Security Council responded to the test by imposing new sanctions on Pyongyang.

North Korea later vowed to accelerate its weapons programs in response to the sanctions and, on Thursday, threatened to use nuclear weapons on the United States and Japan.

According to Reuters, the Security Council will meet on Friday to discuss the latest North Korea missile test.

The meeting will take place at the request of the United States and Japan.