North Korea Fires Scud-Class Ballistic Missile, Japan Protests

Monday's launch followed two successful tests of medium- to long-range missiles in as many weeks by the North, which has been conducting such tests at an unprecedented pace in an effort to develop an intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) capable of hitting the mainland United States.

Michael Penn, president of the Tokyo-based Shingetsu news agency, told Al Jazeera that North Korea's latest missile test was part of an effort to strengthen its military against any possible threats from the U.S.

In their final communiqué, Abe and Trump - along with the leaders of Canada, France, Germany, Italy and the United Kingdom - said North Korea "increasingly poses new levels of threat of a grave nature to worldwide peace and stability ... through its repeated and ongoing breaches of global law".

On Sunday, US Defense Secretary James Mattis warned that a conflict with North Korea would be "catastrophic".

North Korea is still thought to be several years from its goal of being able to target USA mainland cities with a nuclear intercontinental ballistic missile.

The government of South Korean President Moon Jae-in, who took office early May and had advocated dialogue with the North, condemned Monday's launch.

A woman watches a TV screen showing a file footage of North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, at Seoul Train Station in Seoul, South Korea, Monday, May 29, 2017.

The short-range ballistic missile traveled an estimated 248 miles, splashing down within Japan's exclusive economic zone, an area of sea where commercial ships are known to operate, according to statements from both the Japanese government and the South Korean military. North Korea fired a short-range ballistic missile that.

The ministry said that the two sides agreed to sternly deal with the North's provocations in cooperation with the United Nations, the United States and South Korea.

Three previous similar tests happened a week ago. North Korea fired a short-range ballistic missile that landed in Japan's maritime economic zone Monday, officials said, the latest in a string of test launches as the North seeks to build nuclear-tipped ICBMs that can reach the US mainland.

The strident statement came in response to the latest missile launch by North Korea.

Kim Jong-Un has sought to ramp up North Korea's nuclear programme under his rule, saying the regime needs atomic weapons to defend itself against the threat of invasion.

April 16: North Korea fires a missile off its east coast, but the launch apparently fails.

North Korea, however, already has a strong arsenal of reliable short-range missiles.

The ultimate objective of North Korea's nuclear and missile program is to secure the capability to hit the United States with a nuclear-equipped missile, which will ensure the regime's survival and give it greater negotiating power.

  • Salvatore Jensen