North Korea has conducted a ballistic test for the first time since President Donald Trump took office.
President Trump has assured Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe that “America is 100% behind Japan, its great ally.”
The ballistic missile fired by North Korea flew east to the Sea of Japan about 310 miles, South Korean officials said.
Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said the test was “absolutely unbearable”. According to Japanese officials, the rocket did not reach its waters.
Speaking at a joint news conference during a visit to the United States, Shinzo Abe added that Donald Trump also assured him that he was committed to “continuing to strengthen our union.”
Last year, North Korea conducted a series of nuclear tests as a result of acts of aggression that continue to alarm and anger the region.
The launch on February 12 took place at 07:55 local time from Bangong Air Base in North Pyongyang Province on the west side of the Korean Peninsula.
According to a South Korean official quoted by , the missile reached an altitude of about 350 miles and apparently was a medium-range missile “Rodong”.
South Korea’s foreign ministry said: “North Korea’s repeated provocations show the nature of the irrationality of Kim Jong Un’s regime, manically obsessed with its nuclear and missile development.”
Japan’s chief of staff Yoshihide Suga confirmed that the missile had not reached Japanese territorial waters, adding that Tokyo would make a “strong protest” against North Korea because of the incident.
So far, there have been no comments from North Korea.
Last month, Kim Jong Un said North Korea was close to testing long-range missiles capable of carrying nuclear warheads.
During a visit to South Korea last week, Defense Secretary James Mathis said any use of North Korea’s nuclear weapons would meet an “effective and overwhelming” response.
James Mathis also confirmed plans to deploy a U.S. missile defense system in South Korea later this year.
North Korea conducted its fifth test of a nuclear device in 2016 and claims it is capable of carrying out a nuclear attack on the United States, although experts are still unsure that its technology has advanced so far.
In recent weeks, North Korea has also said it has a new intercontinental ballistic missile capable of reaching the U.S. mainland, which it is ready to test at any time.