North Korea fired its second missile over Japan in as many months, a fresh provocation that comes shortly after the United Nations approved harsher sanctions against Kim Jong Un’s regime.
Japan didn’t attempt to shoot down the unidentified missile, which was launched at 6:57 a.m. on Friday and flew over the northern island of Hokkaido before landing 2,000 kilometers (1,200 miles) away in the Pacific Ocean, according to Japanese broadcaster NHK. South Korea’s military said it simultaneously conducted a drill in which it fired a ballistic missile into the East Sea, also known as the Sea of Japan.
“These continued provocations against our country by North Korea can absolutely not be tolerated,” Yoshihide Suga, Japan’s government spokesman, told reporters. “We protest strongly, conveying the strong anger of the Japanese people.”
Suga told reporters that the situation was similar to that when a missile was fired over Japan on Aug. 29, NHK reported. North Korea had called that test a “meaningful prelude” to containing the American territory of Guam, and threatened to launch more missiles over Japan into the ocean.
North Korea conducted its sixth and most powerful nuclear test on Sept. 3, and has launched more than a dozen missiles this year as Kim seeks the capability to hit the continental U.S. with an atomic weapon. President Donald Trump has said all options — including military — are on the table to stop North Korea from threatening the U.S.
In July, North Korea fired two ICBMs on steep trajectories into the sea between the Korean peninsula and Japan. The regime said those launches put the entire U.S. in its range.
On Monday, the UN Security Council approved new sanctions after the U.S. dropped key demands such as an oil embargo to win support from Russia and China, both of which can veto any proposals. The resolution seeks to limit oil imports, ban textile exports and increase inspections of ships suspected of carrying cargo in breach of sanctions.
North Korea’s first nuclear test since Trump took office was a “perfect success” and confirmed the precision and technology of the bomb, according to the Korean Central News Agency. Kim claimed that his regime could mount a hydrogen bomb onto an ICBM.
While North Korea’s ICBM threat is growing, the U.S. military says it’s not yet imminent. Kim’s regime has yet to demonstrate that it can accurately guide a long-range missile to a target with a nuclear warhead that survives the trip, General Paul Selva, the No. 2 U.S. military official said in a statement to Bloomberg last month.