North Korea launched another missile Friday, the rogue nation’s first missile launch since its massive nuclear test more than a week ago, prompting U.S. officials to issue a sharp round of condemnation.
The missile was launched eastward early Friday from Sunan, the site of Pyongyang’s international airport. It flew over northern Japan before landing in the Pacific Ocean, according to U.S. Pacific Command.
President Donald Trump, who last month vowed “fire and fury” if North Korea ramped up its nuclear threats, didn’t immediately comment. However, Defense Secretary Jim Mattis called the missile a reckless act by the North Koreans, adding that the missile “was fired over Japan and put millions of Japanese in duck and cover.” Mattis said President Trump has been fully briefed on the missile.
Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said the latest round of sanctions from the United Nations Security Council “represent the floor, not the ceiling” of actions that need to be taken against North Korea.
“North Korea’s provocative missile launch represents the second time the people of Japan, a treaty ally of the United States, have been directly threatened in recent weeks,” Tillerson said. “These continued provocations only deepen North Korea’s diplomatic and economic isolation. United Nations Security Council resolutions, including the most recent unanimous sanctions resolution, represent the floor, not the ceiling, of the actions we should take. We call on all nations to take new measures against the Kim regime.”
The U.N. Security Council scheduled an emergency meeting for Friday afternoon, at the request of the U.S. and Japan.
In response to the test, South Korea launched a ballistic missile of its own to show it can reach North Korea’s launch site.
Last month, North Korea used the same airport to fire a Hwasong-12 intermediate range missile that flew over Japan, which the North declared as a “meaningful prelude” to containing the U.S. island territory of Guam, and the start of more ballistic missile launches targeting the Pacific Ocean.
U.S. officials said the missile launched Friday is what the Pentagon calls a KN-17. Its maximum range is estimated to be 2,800 miles.
The launched missile, according to reports, reached a height of 480 miles and flew 2,300 miles out, farther than the North’s missile launched in August — the first missile launched over Japan in eight years — which reached a height of 340 miles and flew 1,700 miles out.
Guam is about 2,100 miles from North Korea.
The missile launch comes three days after the U.N. Security Council unanimously approved new sanctions against North Korea.
The resolution bans the regime from importing all natural gas liquids and condensates, and caps Pyongyang’s imports of crude oil at the level of the last 12 months. It also limits the import of refined petroleum products to 2 million barrels per year.