South Korea's Moon says North's provocations will result in more isolation

South Korea's Moon says North's provocations will result in more isolation

03:39
After  North Korea's latest launch of a missile over Japan, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe added Tokyo could "never tolerate" what he called a "dangerous provocative action that threatens world peace".

SEOUL: South Korean President Moon Jae-in said on Friday North Korea's latest launch of a missile over Japan will only result in further diplomatic and economic isolation for the North, and officials said Moon had also warned of possible new threats.

"President Moon ordered officials to closely analyse and prepare for new possible North Korean threats like EMP (electro-magnetic pulse) and biochemical attacks," Moon's spokesman Park Su-hyun told a briefing.

In New York, the Security Council called an emergency meeting for later Friday and UN chief Antonio Guterres said talks on the crisis would be held on the sidelines of the General Assembly next week.

The US Pacific Command confirmed Friday's rocket was an intermediate range ballistic missile (IRBM) and said it did not pose a threat to North America or to the US Pacific territory of Guam, which Pyongyang has threatened to bracket with "enveloping fire".

Seoul's defence ministry said it probably travelled around 3,700km and reached a maximum altitude of 770km.

"MISSILE LAUNCH!"

Millions of Japanese were jolted awake by blaring sirens and emergency text message alerts.

"Missile launch! missile launch! A missile appears to have been launched from North Korea," loudspeakers blared on Cape Erimo, on Hokkaido's southern tip. Breakfast television programmes replaced their usual light-hearted diet of children's shows and gadget features with the warning: "Flee into a building or a basement."

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said Tokyo could "never tolerate" what he called a "dangerous provocative action that threatens world peace".

"If North Korea continues to walk down this path, it has no bright future," he told reporters. "We must make North Korea understand this."

The missile was said to have overflown the US ally for around two minutes.

US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson urged China and Russia, Pyongyang's main defenders, to take "direct actions" to rein it in.

Beijing condemned the launch but said it was not to blame for the crisis.

"The core lies in a conflict between the DPRK (North Korea) and the US," foreign ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying said.

"China is not the driver behind the escalation of the tensions. China also does not hold the key to the Korean peninsula issue. The initiators of a trouble should end it," she said.

North Korea said earlier this month it was developing a hydrogen bomb that can carry out an EMP attack. Experts disagree on whether the North would have the capability to mount such an attack, which would involve setting off a bomb in the atmosphere that could cause major damage to power grids and other infrastructure.

(Reporting by Christine Kim; Editing by Paul Tait)

Source: Agencies/ek

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