DPRK's missile launch draws strong reactions from countries in Asia Pacific

Source: Xinhua| 2017-08-29 16:09:03|Editor: ZD
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HONG KONG, Aug. 29 (Xinhua) -- The Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) fired a missile early Tuesday, drawing strong reactions from countries in the Asia-Pacific region.

The DPRK missile, which was fired from an area near the capital Pyongyang, passed over the Japanese territory and landed in the Pacific Ocean, after a flight of about 2,500 km. It was lofted as high as 550 km.

According to South Korean media reports, South Korea's military saw the missile as the DPRK's newly developed Hwasong-12 intermediate-range ballistic missile, which Pyongyang said in May had been successfully test-fired.

South Korea's foreign ministry said in a statement that the government strongly denounces the DPRK's another provocation in defiance of the international community's grave message through a new UN Security Council resolution.

Earlier this month, the UN Security Council unanimously adopted a resolution toughening sanctions on the DPRK following Pyongyang's tests in July of what it called an intercontinental ballistic missile.

The statement said the DPRK should recognize the point that denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula is the only way to ensure the country's security and economic development.

It urged Pyongyang to stop reckless provocation and return to the dialogue table for denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula.

It also said the South Korean government maintained a full preparedness for any DPRK threats, vowing to protect lives of people and the security unwaveringly.

South Korean fighter jets on Tuesday conducted a live-fire drill in the northeastern region of the country after the DPRK's missile launch.

President Moon Jae-in ordered the military to demonstrate its strong punishment capability against the DPRK, and four F-15K jetfighters made a sortie for the bomb-dropping exercise, according to the presidential Blue House.

The South Korean fighter jets dropped eight MK84 bombs on a target at the Taebaek Pilsung Firing Range in the country's northeastern Gangwon province.

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe on Tuesday said that the DPRK's missile launch "significantly undermines" regional peace and security and Japan has lodged a firm protest against the DPRK.

Abe added that Japan is to call for an emergency meeting of the United Nations Security Council and to call on the international society to cooperate and impose more pressure on the DPRK.

Japan's Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga said the missile firing posed "an unprecedentedly serious and grave security threat" to Japan and Japan will work closely with the United States and South Korea to address the issue.

The Philippine government expressed "grave concern" over the DPRK's missile launch, calling on the country to start dialogue and ease tensions on the Korean Peninsula.

"We call on the DPRK to halt these dangerous and provocative actions, which heighten tensions, increase instability and the risk of miscalculation, and could possibly endanger lives," Philippine Foreign Secretary Alan Peter Cayetano said in a statement on Tuesday.

"We recall the ASEAN Foreign Ministers' Statement on Developments in the Korean Peninsula issued on August 5th and urge the DPRK to fully comply with its obligations under the relevant United Nations Security Council Resolutions," Cayetano said.

He said ASEAN and the Philippines, as this year's chair, remain committed to peaceful resolutions of conflict.

The Indonesian foreign ministry said in a statement that the DPRK missile launch could escalate tensions in the region, noting that the act was a clear violation of related resolutions of the United Nations Security Council.

Indonesia reaffirmed the importance of the stability on the Korean Peninsula and urged all nations to contribute to the establishment of peace and stability on the peninsula.

Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull said "The (DPRK's) missile flew over Japanese territory, posing an unacceptable threat to peace and stability in our region,"

"This morning's test firing represents a serious escalation by Pyongyang. It is a provocative and threatening act by a dangerous regime," he said, adding that Australia calls on all countries to fully implement existing UN Security Council resolutions to place pressure on Pyongyang to change its behaviour.