A day after India and Japan pitched for stronger defence cooperation and pledged to combat the nuclear threat that the Asia-Pacific region faces, North Korea fired another missile over Japan. The intermediate-range missile was fired from Sunan, north of Pyongyang, early on the morning of September 15, that flew over Japan landing in the Pacific ocean about 2,000 km east of Hokkaido.
The North Korean issue figured prominently in the talks held at the 12th India-Japan summit in Gujarat, which culminated in a strongly worded joint statement on the issue. Both the countries deplored North Korea’s unrelenting nuclear weapons programme and uranium enrichment activities. The joint statement called for an end to “provocative actions” and demanded that countries in support of these tests should also be brought to book.
The latest missile test also comes four days after the United Nations Security Council unanimously adopted a resolution to impose a ban on textiles exports and a cap on oil imports by North Korea. The rogue regime had quickly hit back, threatening to mete out “the greatest pain and suffering” that the US has ever faced. The recent missile launch is the longest ever flight carried out by Kim Jong’s regime.
“If North Korea continues to walk this road, there will be no bright future. We need to get North Korea to understand that,” said Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe.
The continued tests threaten to greatly alter the geopolitics of the Asia-Pacific region where a major conflict and nuclear crisis could erupt if Pyongyang’s nuclear activities are not curbed in the near term.
(Pritha Mahanti contributed inputs for this article)
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