The White House has condemned North Korea for launching an intercontinental ballistic missile test just hours before leaders of South Korea and Japan meet at a Tokyo summit.
“The United States strongly condemns the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea’s (DPRK) Intercontinental ballistic missile test,” National Security Council spokesperson Adrienne Watson said in a statement. “This launch is a flagrant violation of multiple UN Security Council resolutions.”
South Korean and Japanese assessments found that North Korea’s ICBM launch lasted about 70 minutes and traveled about 620 miles, reaching a maximum altitude of about 3,730 miles, the Associated Press reported. The missile, which was launched at a steep trajectory, fell between the Korean Peninsula and Japan, AP reported.
Watson said that while the launch did not pose an immediate threat to the U.S. or its allies, it “needlessly raises tensions and risks destabilizing the security situation in the region.”
“It only demonstrates that the DPRK continues to prioritize its unlawful weapons of mass destruction and ballistic missile programs over the well-being of its people,” she said. “We urge all countries to condemn these violations and call on the DPRK to cease its destabilizing actions and engage in serious dialogue.”
She added that the U.S. will take “all necessary measures” to secure the safety of the U.S. and the Republic of Korea and Japanese allies.
This is the third weapons test conducted by North Korea in a week. North Korea fired at least one missile from a submarine in the Sea of Japan on Sunday, and South Korean officials said North Korea fired a missile test on March 9, using a short-range ballistic missile toward the Yellow Sea.