The United States, Japan and South Korea are calling on the United Nations Security Council to have a special meeting Sunday morning after Kim Jung-un launched a rocket from a site in the western part of his country. The launch happened around 9:30 a.m. local time (7:30 p.m. EST on Saturday).
The Pentagon confirmed the launch, which saw the rocket fly over Okinawa, where Patriot missiles had been stationed with orders to shoot it down if it threatened Japanese territory. The U.S. and South Korea are tracking the rocket’s trajectory but have provided no other details. South Korean Press reported that the rocket launch failed, however this has not been confirmed by any official source.
A rocket was seen soaring into the air shortly after the launch.
Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe called the launch ‘absolutely unacceptable’ as he vowed to take action against North Korea. ‘We absolutely cannot allow this. We will take action to totally protect the safety and well-being of our people,’ he said.
South Korean President Park Geun-hye called the launch a ‘challenge to world peace’.
U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry condemned the launch as ‘a flagrant violation of UN Security Council Resolutions’ as he accused North Korea of a ‘major provocation’. He said the launch had threatened the United States and reaffirmed America’s ‘ironclad commitment to the defense of our allies, including the Republic of Korea and Japan’.
U.S. National Security Adviser Susan Rice said launch represented ‘serious threats to our interests – including the security of some of our closest allies – and undermines peace and security in the broader region.’