North Korea fired a missile on Friday that experts said was capable of striking Los Angeles and other U.S. cities and the United States and South Korea responded by staging a joint missile exercise, the South Korean news agency Yonhap said.
The unusual late-night launch added to exasperation in Washington, Seoul and Tokyo over Pyongyang’s continuing development of nuclear weapons and intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBMs) to deliver them. North Korean President Kim Jong Un’s military had already raised alarms early this month with its first ICBM launch.
“As a result of their launches of ICBM-level missiles, this clearly shows the threat to our nation’s safety is severe and real,” said Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, who planned to call a meeting of his National Security Council.
Following a meeting of South Korea’s National Security Council, South Korean President Moon Jae-in said he wanted the U.N. Security Council to discuss new and stronger sanctions against the North, the presidential Blue House said.
The top U.S. military official, Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Joseph Dunford, and Admiral Harry Harris, commander of U.S. Pacific Command, spoke by phone with the top South Korean military official, General Lee Sun-jin, to discuss military response options to the launch.
Later the United States and South Korea took part in a ballistic missile exercise.