Monday, August 28, 2017

North Korea fires missile over Japan, sharply escalating tensions

North Korea fired a missile that flew over Japan and landed in waters off the northern region of Hokkaido early on Tuesday, marking a sharp escalation of tensions on the Korean peninsula.

The test, which experts said appeared to have been a recently developed intermediate-range Hwasong-12 missile, came as U.S. and South Korean forces conduct annual military drills on the peninsula, against which North Korea strenuously objects. North Korea has conducted dozens of ballistic missile tests under young leader Kim Jong-un, the most recent on Saturday, but firing projectiles over mainland Japan is very rare.
The United States, Japan and South Korea asked for a United Nations Security Council meeting to discuss the test, diplomats said. A meeting of the 15-member Security Council would be held later on Tuesday, they said. Earlier this month, the Security Council unanimously imposed new sanctions on North Korea in response to two long-range missile launches in July. South Korea's military said the missile was launched from near the North Korean capital, Pyongyang, just before 6 a.m. (2100 GMT Monday) and flew 2,700 km, reaching an altitude of about 550 km.