Despite multiple rounds of sanctions unanimously passed by the United Nations Security Council, the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea launched another missile early Friday morning.
World leaders are expressing their frustration and discussing what to do next.
CGTN’s Jack Barton reports from Seoul.
Sirens blared and alert messages urged residents to take cover as the missile launched by the DPRK passed high over the Japanese island of Hokkaido.
This latest projectile reached an altitude of 770 kilometers and traveled for 3,700 kilometers. That distance is slightly further than the U.S. territory of Guam, which sits well to the south of where the projectile splashed down in the Pacific.
Japanese Shinzo Abe responded by calling for a UN Security Council meeting, saying it was time for the international community to act in unison.
“North Korea has trampled over the strong will of a united international community to a peaceful solution, as seen in the United Nations’ Resolutions the other day,” Abe said. “We absolutely cannot accept these provocations.”
The ROK reacted by firing two ballistic missiles into the eastern sea. Those projectiles traveled a distance equal to the distance to Pyongyang’s international airport, which was the launch site for the latest test.
Chairing an emergency meeting of his country’s national security council, ROK President Moon Jae-in warned that the latest launch would only result in the further diplomatic and economic isolation of Pyongyang.
“North Korea should clearly realize that it is entering a path of downfall, due to a diplomatic and economic isolation, as much as it increases frequency and strength of reckless provocation,” Moon said.
With the DPRK perfecting its missiles and nuclear weapons much faster than anticipated, the clock is ticking when it comes to finding a diplomatic solution.
Some analysts believe the latest test is a sign that Pyongyang will not be swayed by sanctions, no matter how deep. Others see the launch as a desperate measure taken by a desperate nation.
The latter is the verdict of Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull.
“This latest missile launch over Japan and the violent outbursts of North Korean propaganda threatening Japan and the United States overnight, this shows that the sanctions are working,” according to Turnbull.
Whether sanctions are working or not, the latest missile launch, coming so soon after the DPRK’s sixth nuclear test and toughest UN sanctions yet, will only increase tensions further.