N. Korea's latest test was an intercontinental ballistic missile: Japanese PM
The Prime Minister of Japan, which works closely with its US ally, has accused North Korea of threatening the region's security.
North Korea fired an intercontinental ballistic missile on March 5, endangering regional and global security, Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida claimed on Friday.
Kishida alleged that the analysis conducted in "close cooperation with the US government" indicates a modified ballistic missile. He added that "North Korea's actions are threatening the security of the region and the world, and are unacceptable. They violate UN resolutions, and we strongly condemn them. As for the subsequent measures in terms of diplomacy and sanctions, we will consider them together with the US and South Korea."
North Korea's latest test launch, according to newly leaked reports, was part of ongoing research for a "reconnaissance satellite", marking the second such test this year.
The country conducted its ninth missile test of the year on Saturday, saying it has launched a ballistic missile that traveled around 270 kilometers and reached a maximum height of around 560 kilometers, according to South Korea.
The eighth missile was launched on February 27, including a test-firing of its most powerful missile since high-profile talks between Kim Jong-Un and then-US President Donald Trump collapsed in 2019. Diplomacy has been in decline since then.
Despite international sanctions over its nuclear weapons, Pyongyang has been conducting missiles tests as part of redoubled efforts to modernize its military, threatening to end a self-imposed embargo on testing long-range missiles and nuclear weapons in January.
Analysts had feared Pyongyang would conduct more tests to take advantage of the United States' diversion over Russia's special operation in Ukraine.
"With these tests, North Korea seems to be saying North Korea is different from Ukraine, reminding the world that it has its own nuclear weaponry system," said Yang Moo-jin, a professor at the University of North Korean Studies.
"It's yet another demand for Washington to abolish the so-called 'hostile' policies against Pyongyang," he told AFP.
Last month, North Korea accused the United States of being the "root cause of the Ukraine crisis" saying in a statement on its Foreign Ministry's website that Washington "meddled" in the internal affairs of other countries when it suited them but condemned legitimate "self-defensive measures".
It is worth noting that the latest rollout coincides with South Korea's upcoming presidential election on March 9.
Under Joe Biden, the US has frequently claimed it is open to meeting with North Korean officials while still pledging to pursue denuclearization while maintaining its and its allies' nuclear capabilities.
Pyongyang, on the other hand, has rebuffed the offer, accusing the US of pursuing "hostile" policies.