The government of Japan lodged a protest with the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) on Sunday over the test-firing of a missile by the country earlier in the day.
Japan’s foreign ministry said that the missile launch was a clear violation of the UN Security Council resolutions and it has communicated the protest to the DPRK through a diplomatic channel.
The DPRK fired an unidentified missile at about 6:20 a.m. local time from its eastern coastal city of Sinpo, but it was believed to have exploded on launch, according to South Korea’s Joint Chiefs of Staff.
Pentagon of the United States has also confirmed the DPRK’s missile launch, saying that the missile blew up almost immediately and the type of missile is still being assessed.
A crisis management center at the Japanese prime minister’s office said later that it has reached the same conclusion as the United States that the DPRK launched a missile but it exploded.
Japan’s Foreign Minister Fumio Kishida said that Japan has been trying to gather and analyze information about the test-launch but refrained from giving more details.
The test-launch came amid rising tensions on the Korean Peninsula, following the dispatching of the USS Carl Vinson aircraft carrier and its accompanying warships to the peninsula.
Major South Korean presidential candidates have also condemned North Korea for the missile launch.
The presidential election campaign camp of Moon Jae-in, a frontrunner in recent opinion polls and a former chief of the biggest Minjoo Party, described the attempted missile test as reckless provocations.
The Moon camp said in a statement that it was not understandable for the DPRK to conduct any provocative acts when the U.S. Carl Vinson strike group is approaching the Korean Peninsula.
The camp with Ahn Cheol-soo, a runner-up to Moon in opinion polls and a former head of the centrist People’s Party, asked key political parties to call in the meetings of committees for defence and foreign affairs to prevent any possible military conflict.
Meanwhile, U.S. Vice President Mike Pence has arrived in South Korea as part of his first trip to Asia, and is expected to talk with the South Korean side about issues related to the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK).
Pence is scheduled to pay a visit to the Seoul National Cemetery and have dinner with combined forces of South Korea and the United States later in the day. About 28,500 U.S. troops are stationed here.