Kishida condemns North Korea’s bevy of missile launches

The Yomiuri Shimbun
Prime Minister Fumio Kishida speaks to reporters in Katsurao, Fukushima Prefecture, on Sunday, following North Korea’s missile launches.

Prime Minister Fumio Kishida strongly condemned North Korea’s ballistic missile launches on Sunday morning, the 17th round of missile tests this year.

“These acts threaten the peace and stability of the region and the international community and simply cannot be tolerated,” he told reporters in Fukushima Prefecture, where he was on an inspection tour.

The government protested to North Korea via diplomatic channels in Beijing.

The Defense Ministry the same day detailed North Korea’s launch of at least six ballistic missiles.

All the missiles, including one that possibly flew on an irregular trajectory, fell into the sea outside Japan’s exclusive economic zone.

From 9:06 a.m. through 9:41 a.m., six missiles were launched. Four of them reached an altitude of 50,000 meters, while two, fired from the interior of North Korea to the east, reached 100,000 meters. Three were launched from the west coast of the country to the east, while one was fired from the east coast to the east. All flew about 300-400 kilometers.

It is extremely unusual for North Korea to launch multiple ballistic missiles from three or more locations almost simultaneously.

Given it is highly likely that North Korea has launched other missiles than the above, the Defense Ministry continues to analyze the information. Any damage to aircraft or vessels has yet to be confirmed.

Defense Minister Nobuo Kishi on Sunday morning also blasted North Korea’s missile launches, saying, “We absolutely cannot tolerate this.”