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North Korea rebuked as allied countries hold emergency meeting over missile launch

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U.S. Vice President Kamala Harris, right, holds a meeting with Prime Minister Fumio Kishida of Japan, middle, Prime Minister Han Duck-soo of the Republic of Korea, Prime Minister Anthony Albanese of Australia, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern of New Zealand, and Prime Minister Justin Trudeau of Canada, left, to consult North Korea’s recent ballistic missile launch at the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) summit in Bangkok, Thailand, on Friday, Nov. 18, 2022. Haiyun Jiang/Pool via REUTERS

Leaders of the United States, South Korea, Japan and allied countries convened an emergency meeting during an Asian summit on Friday and condemned North Korea’s firing of a suspected intercontinental ballistic missile, calling for a united response.

The missile, which landed just 200 kilometres (130 miles) off Japan, was capable of reaching the mainland United States, Japanese officials said.

Meeting on the sidelines of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) meeting in Bangkok, U.S. Vice President Kamala Harris called the launch a “brazen violation” of multiple U.N. resolutions and said North Korea’s actions were destablising for security in the region.

South Korean Prime Minister Han Duck-soo said the North’s activities were illegal and “will never be tolerated”, calling for a united front and a resolute response.

Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida said such launches were occurring with “unprecedented high frequency” lately.

“There is the possibly that North Korea will launch further missiles,” he warned.

The incident came a day after a smaller missile launch by the North and its warning of “fiercer military responses” to the U.S. boosting its regional security presence.

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said North Korea’s move needed to be condemned “by all regions around the world”, while Australian counterpart Anthony Albanese said the missile launches were “reckless actions”.

“We stand with the world, and indeed with our allies, in opposing and condemning this action in the strongest possible terms,” Albanese said.

“And we stand ready to be part of a global response to this.”

New Zealand leader Jacinda Ardern said she acknowledged the “anxiety, the deep concern, the security threat” felt in Japan and South Korea.