World / Asia-Pacific

DPRK's rocket launch unacceptable, says Abe

(Xinhua) Updated: 2016-02-07 09:58

TOKYO - Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe on Sunday rapped a long-range rocket launch by the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK), saying the launch is "unacceptable" and violated relevant UN resolution.

The DPRK launched the rocket at around 9:31 local time on Sunday, according to Japanese Defense Minister Gen Nakatani. The defense ministry here said the Self-Defense Forces took no interception against the DPRK rocket.

Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga said the government will lodge a strong protest against Pyongyang's rocket launch, adding the move threatened international peace.

The DPRK had said it plans to launch an earth observation satellite, but Japan and the U.S., among other nations, believe the launch was a test of a long-range ballistic missile.

The Japanese government said the rocket was launched heading for the direction of Japan's southernmost prefecture of Okinawa and flown over the prefecture at around 9:41 a.m. local time.

Japan's Kyodo News reported that Japan, United States and South Korea requested the UN Security Council convene after the DPRK's rocket launch.

It is the first time since December 2012 that the DPRK has conducted such a test. The DPRK is banned from test-firing any rockets based on a ballistic missile technology under UN Security Council resolutions.

The DPRK also tested its first hydrogen nuclear bomb last month which was also a violation against related UN resolution and was criticized by the international community.

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