Japan Prime Minister Condemns North Korean Missile Launch, Decries ‘Threat to Peace and Stability’

Yomiuri Shimbun file photo
Prime Minister Fumio Kishida arrives at the Prime Minister’s Office in Tokyo on Wednesday.

Prime Minister Fumio Kishida on Thursday condemned North Korea for firing ballistic missiles that are believed to have fallen into the Sea of Japan, outside Japan’s exclusive economic zone.

“[The missile launch] is a threat to the peace and stability not only of our country but also of the region and the international community. We absolutely cannot tolerate it,” Kishida told reporters at the Prime Minister’s Office.

North Korea launched two ballistic missiles northwestward from near the country’s western coast late Wednesday, the Defense Ministry said Thursday. No damage was confirmed.

According to the Korean Central News Agency on Thursday, the General Staff of the Korean People’s Army announced that North Korea had conducted a tactical nuclear strike drill, launching two ballistic missiles from an airfield in Pyongyang.

North Korea has denounced the joint U.S.-South Korean Ulchi Freedom Shield drills as a grave threat tantamount to a pre-emptive nuclear strike being planned by the United States.

The missile launch was aimed at “reassuring the enemy of our firm retaliatory intentions and capabilities,” it said.

U.S. Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre said at a press conference Wednesday that the United States condemns the ballistic missile launch. “This launch is in violation of multiple United Nations Security Council resolutions and poses a threat to the DPRK’s neighbors and international community,” she said.