North Korea simultaneously launched two medium-range ballistic missiles this morning, and one landed in Japan's exclusive economic zone, in the Sea of Japan. This is an area that is protected by special rights given to Japan by the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea. The other missile exploded right after launch.
Although North Korea has launched more than 30 missile tests since 2011, when Kim Jong Un came into power, today's launch was one of the farthest ranging and has drawn strong condemnation from international leaders.
"It imposes a serious threat to Japan's security and it is an unforgivable act of violence toward Japan's security," Prime Minister Shinzo Abe told AP.
The United States condemned the launches as violating U.N. Security Council resolutions that ban North Korea's use of ballistic missile technology.
"This provocation only serves to increase the international community's resolve to counter (North Korea's) prohibited activities, including through implementing existing U.N. Security Council sanctions," said Navy Cmdr. Gary Ross, a Pentagon spokesman.
NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg also condemned the launches, saying North Korea should "immediately cease and abandon all its existing nuclear and ballistic missile activities in a complete, verifiable and irreversible manner" and "refrain from any further provocative actions."
The Security Council has scheduled an emergency meeting set for this afternoon at the United Nations.