Japan Strongly Protests North Korea’s Missile Test

North Korea Tuesday fired a ballistic missile into the sea, following a recent weapons test, the South Korean and Japanese militaries said. The test came hours after the United States confirmed its offer to resume diplomacy over North Korea’s nuclear weapons program.

Japan’s Deputy Cabinet Secretary Yoshihiko Isozaki said Tuesday that Japan had lodged a strong protest against North Korea through “the usual channels,” meaning their embassy in Beijing. Isozaki told reporters in Tokyo that the Japanese government had not heard any reports of casualties and would continue to investigate.

“This threatens the peace and security of our country. Including the previous successive missile firings, this is a serious matter for our country and the international community. The act of firing these missiles is a violation of UN Security Council Resolutions and is deeply regrettable,” Yoshihiko Isozaki said.

The missile test shocked Japan and came at the start of the official campaign for lower house elections. Many political leaders are out of town campaigning.

Prime Minister Fumio Kishida is traveling in northern Japan’s cities hit by the 2011 tsunami and earthquake. He is considering returning to Tokyo after the test. [ka/ab]

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