News

Japan: North Korean Launch a Provocative Act

Japan called for an emergency session of the United Nations Security Council after North Korea's rocket launch.  Japan considers the launch, which traveled over its territory, extremely provocative and a violation of U.N. resolutions

North Korea defied demands from Japan, South Korea and the United States not to go ahead with a planned launch of what Pyongyang claimed was an experimental communications satellite.

Japanese Prime Minister Taro Aso says the launch is an extremely provocative act Tokyo cannot ignore.

Mr. Aso says North Korea had been warned by Japan and other nations, especially the United States and South Korea, not to conduct the launch.  Therefore, he says, Japan wants to respond in cooperation with the international community to demonstrate the launch clearly violates U.N. Security Council resolutions.

Japanese Foreign Minister Hirofumi Nakasone says he discussed the implications of the launch in telephone conversations with U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, as well as his Chinese and South Korean counterparts.

The foreign minister says Japan's stance is that a new resolution at the U.N. Security Council is needed.

Japan immediately called for an emergency Security Council session. 

It will be held late Sunday in New York (to begin behind closed doors at 1900 UTC).  

North Korea claims the satellite began orbiting the Earth nine minutes after its launch and is transmitting data and melodies praising the nation's late founder Kim Il Sun and his son, current leader Kim Jong Il.

But the U.S. military's North American Aerospace Defense Command says North Korea launched a Taepodong-2 missile that splashed down in the Pacific Ocean and no object entered orbit.

Japan's government says even if North Korea had succeeded in placing a satellite into space, the launch would still have violated U.N. actions forbidding Pyongyang from conducting further ballistic-missile development.

Japan's Transport Minister Kazuyoshi Kaneko says economic sanctions imposed by Tokyo against North Korea will continue as a result of the missile launch.

Kaneko says North Korean vessels will be barred from visiting Japanese ports for another year.

The Japanese sanctions, which are due to expire next week, followed a previous North Korean ballistic missile firing and a nuclear test, both in 2006.

Families of Japanese who have been abducted by North Korean agents over the decades took to the streets of Tokyo to call for even stronger sanctions against Pyongyang.

Sakie Yokota, the mother of one of those kidnapped Megumi Yokota, terms North Korea heartless and says its actions make her sad.

North Korea has admitted carrying out abductions in Japan to train its spies in Japanese language and culture.  Five of those kidnapped were later allowed to return, but North Korea claims the rest are dead, an assertion Japan rejects.  The unresolved issue is one reason diplomats say Tokyo and Pyongyang have not normalized relations. 

Japan's Defense Ministry says specially-deployed interceptors in Akita and Iwate prefectures (states) did not attempt to shoot down the rocket during its seven-minute flight over Japanese territory.

The Japanese government, which had gone on high alert in case debris fell on its territory, says the first rocket booster dropped into the Sea of Japan off Japan's western shore 13 minutes after the launch (at 11:30 a.m. local time). The second stage fell in the Pacific Ocean.

The Japanese Coast Guard dispatched vessels to attempt to locate and retrieve any rocket debris in the water.   

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Russia Accused of Abusing Interpol to Pursue Opponentsi
X
Henry Ridgwell
July 28, 2015 9:53 PM
A British pro-democracy group has accused Russia of abusing the global law enforcement agency Interpol by requesting the arrest and extradition of political opponents. A new report by the group notes such requests can mean the accused are unable to travel and are often unable to open bank accounts. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
Video

Video Russia Accused of Abusing Interpol to Pursue Opponents

A British pro-democracy group has accused Russia of abusing the global law enforcement agency Interpol by requesting the arrest and extradition of political opponents. A new report by the group notes such requests can mean the accused are unable to travel and are often unable to open bank accounts. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
Video

Video Genome Initiative Urgently Moves to Freeze DNA Before Species Go Extinct

Earth is in the midst of its sixth mass extinction. The last such event was caused by an asteroid 66 million years ago. It killed off the dinosaurs and practically everything else. So scientists are in a race against time to classify the estimated 11 million species alive today. So far only 2 million are described by science, and researchers are worried many will disappear before they even have a name. VOA’s Rosanne Skirble reports.
Video

Video Scientists: One-Dose Malaria Cure is Possible

Scientists have long been trying to develop an effective protection and cure for malaria - one of the deadliest diseases that affects people in tropical areas, especially children. As the World Health Organization announces plans to begin clinical trials of a promising new vaccine, scientists in South Africa report that they too are at an important threshold. George Putic reports, they are testing a compound that could be a single-dose cure for malaria.
Video

Video Special Olympics Athletes Meet International Friends

The Special Olympics are underway in Los Angeles, California, with athletes from 165 countries participating in an event that gives people with intellectual disabilities the chance to take part in an international competition. VOA's Mike O'Sullivan reports that for athletes and their families, it's also an opportunity to make new friends in an international setting.
Video

Video 'New York' Magazine Features 35 Cosby Accusers

The latest issue of 'New York' magazine features 35 women who say they were drugged and raped by film and television celebrity Bill Cosby. The women are aged from 44 to 80 and come from different walks of life and races. The magazine interviewed each of them separately, but Zlatica Hoke reports their stories are similar.
Video

Video US Calls Fight Against Human Trafficking a Must Win

The United States is promising not to give up its fight against what Secretary of State John Kerry calls the “scourge” of modern slavery. Officials released the country’s annual human trafficking report Monday – a report that’s being met with some criticism. VOA’s National Security correspondent Jeff Seldin has more from the State Department.
Video

Video Iran Nuclear Pact Wins Few New US Congressional Backers

Later this week, President Barack Obama returns from a trip to Africa to confront a U.S. Congress roiled by the nuclear accord with Iran, an agreement that has received the blessing of the U.N. Security Council. Days of intensive lobbying and testimony by top administration officials have won few new congressional supporters of the pact. VOA’s Michael Bowman reports.
Video

Video Washington DC Underground Streetcar Station to Become Arts Venue

Abandoned more than 50 years ago, the underground streetcar station in Washington D.C.’s historic DuPont Circle district is about to be reborn. The plan calls for turning the spacious underground platforms - once meant to be a transportation hub, - into a unique space for art exhibitions, presentations, concerts and even a film set. Roman Mamonov has more from beneath the streets of the U.S. capital. Joy Wagner narrates his report.
Video

Video Europe’s Twin Crises Collide in Greece as Migrant Numbers Soar

Greece has replaced Italy as the main gateway for migrants into Europe, with more than 100,000 arrivals in the first six months of 2015. Many want to move further into Europe and escape Greece’s economic crisis, but they face widespread dangers on the journey overland through the Balkans. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
Video

Video Stink Intensifies as Lebanon’s Trash Crisis Continues

After the closure of a major rubbish dump a week ago, the streets of Beirut are filling up with trash. Having failed to draw up a plan B, politicians are struggling to deal with the problem. John Owens has more for VOA from Beirut.
Video

Video Paris Rolls Out Blueprint to Fight Climate Change

A U.N. climate conference in December aims to produce an ambitious agreement to fight heat-trapping greenhouse gases. But many local governments are not waiting, and have drafted their own climate action plans. That’s the case with Paris — which is getting special attention, since it’s hosting the climate summit. Lisa Bryant takes a look for VOA at the transformation of the French capital into an eco-city.
Video

Video Racially Diverse Spider-Man Takes Center Stage

Whether it’s in a comic book or on the big screen, fans have always known the man behind the Spider-Man mask as Peter Parker. But that is changing, at least in the comic book world. Marvel Comics announced that a character called Miles Morales will replace Peter Parker as Spider-Man in a new comic book series. He is half Latino, half African American, and he is quite popular among comic book fans. Correspondent Elizabeth Lee reports from Los Angeles.
Video

Video Critics of Japan Defense Policy Focus on Okinawa

In Okinawa, many locals have long complained that Tokyo places an unfair burden on the tiny island by locating most of Japan's U.S. military bases there. As Japan's government moves toward strengthening and expanding the country's defense policies, opponents of those plans are joining local protesters in Okinawa, voicing concern about where the country is headed. VOA’s Brian Padden reports from Okinawa.
Video

Video IS Uses Chemical Weapons in Syrian Attack

Islamic State militants have added a new weapon in their arsenal of fear: chemical weapons. VOA Kurdish service reporter Zana Omer was on the scene within hours of a recent attack in Hasakah, Syria, and has details of the subsequent investigation, in this report narrated by Miguel Amaya.
Video

Video Historic Symbol Is Theme of Vibrant New Show

A new exhibit in Washington is paying tribute to the American flag with a wide and eclectic selection of artwork that uses the historic symbol as its central theme. VOA’s Julie Taboh was at the DC Chamber of Commerce for the show’s opening.

VOA Blogs