ANKARA (AA) – South Korea on Tuesday strongly condemned North Korea for firing a ballistic missile and warned Pyongyang of stronger sanctions and other consequences, local media reported.
In a statement after a National Security Council (NSC) meeting chaired by President Yoon Suk-yeol, the South Korean presidency said North Korea’s action is a violation of the UN Security Council resolutions, according to Yonhap News Agency.
“It (North Korea missile) was in clear violation of UN Security Council resolutions and a serious provocation threatening the peace on the Korean Peninsula, in Northeast Asia and beyond,” the agency quoted the statement.
The NSC meeting was held after Pyongyang fired its fifth missile in over a week, which “appears to have flown over Japan.”
Earlier, the Japan Defense Ministry said North Korea has launched – what appears to be a ballistic missile – which could fly in the direction of Aomori and Hokkaido prefectures in northern Japan and warned people to seek shelter.
Later, the ministry said the missile has already fallen.
President Yoon said that Pyongyang violated the UN Security Council resolutions and ordered strong action.
Yoon also instructed his security officials for immediate consultation with the US and Japan and said such actions would strengthen cooperation between Seoul, Washington and Tokyo, according to the report.
“As I stated on Oct. 1 Armed Forces Day, such reckless nuclear provocations will be met with a resolute response from our military and our allies, as well as the international community," Yoon said.
Last Saturday, North Korea also fired two short-range ballistic missiles into the East Sea.
North Korea's escalation of tensions is thought to be in response to a joint military drill by the South, the US and Japan in the East Sea.
Last Thursday, US Vice President Kamala Harris said the US will do "everything" in its power to ensure its security commitment to its Asian ally during a daylong visit to South Korea.
Before her visit, North Korea also fired two short-range ballistic missiles into the East Sea on Wednesday.
North Korea declared itself a nuclear weapons state after passing the new law, authorizing its armed forces to use nuclear weapons if an attack with nuclear weapons or other weapons of mass destruction was initiated or became imminent.
Tension on the peninsula rose in 2020 when North Korea attacked and blew up the inter-Korean liaison office along the border. Seoul has threatened a strong response if Pyongyang "further worsens the situation."
However, tensions soared further last year when both Seoul and Pyongyang ramped up military drills to show off their might.
* Writing by Islamuddin Sajid