US officials have condemned North Korea’s test on Friday of what is believed to be an intercontinental ballistic missile, but said the launch does not pose a direct threat to America, Trend reports citing The National.
Vice President Kamala Harris, on a visit to Thailand, held a meeting after the launch with Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida and South Korean Prime Minister Han Duck-soo, among other allies.
“We strongly condemn these actions, and we again call for North Korea to stop further unlawful, destabilising acts,” said Ms Harris, who is attending the Asia-Pacific Economic Co-operation summit in Bangkok.
The apparent missile landed inside Japan’s exclusive economic zone, about 200km west of Oshima-Oshima island, off the northern island of Hokkaido.
Japan’s Defence Minister Yasukazu Hamada warned that the weapon could have a range exceeding 15,000km, “in which case, it could cover the entire mainland United States”.
White House National Security spokesman John Kirby told reporters that Washington remains committed to maintaining direct communication with North Korea, also known as the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea.
“They launch, they learn, and that’s concerning,” said Mr Kirby.
“Their programme still grows and it gets to improve … that’s destabilising, not just to the peninsula but to the region itself,” he added.
The White House said that while the launch is concerning to Washington, it “did not deem it a threat to the homeland”.
US State Department spokesman Ned Price urged “countries to fully implement DPRK-related UN Security Council resolutions” that block Pyongyang from acquiring the technologies needed to launch “these destabilising tests”.
Officials reiterated Washington’s commitment to working “bilaterally and trilaterally” with its South Korean and Japanese allies to ensure North Korea’s US-friendly neighbours have “the right defensive capabilities.”
“The work of readiness is never static,” said Mr Kirby. Source: TREND News Agency