Press Conference by the Prime Minister regarding North Korea’s Launch of a Ballistic Missile

March 24, 2022
[Provisional Translation]
(Regarding North Korea’s launch of a ballistic missile)

A short while ago, North Korea launched what appears to be a new type of inter-continental ballistic missile (ICBM), which fell within Japan's exclusive economic zone (EEZ) near our territorial waters. This is an outrageous act that cannot be tolerated, and we strongly condemn it.
In response to this situation, I gave instructions to ensure that the public is well informed of the situation and that safety is thoroughly confirmed. I then received a status report from the Chief Cabinet Secretary by telephone while I was on the government plane. I instructed the Chief Cabinet Secretary to take all possible measures to respond to the situation and to promptly call a meeting of the National Security Council.
Since the beginning of this year, North Korea has repeatedly launched ballistic missiles with high frequency, including a new type of ICBM. The series of North Korean actions threaten the peace and security of Japan, the region and the international community. Such actions must never be tolerated. We strongly condemn this latest ballistic missile launch, which also violates relevant United Nations Security Council resolutions. We have already lodged a protest against North Korea for its latest launch. We will take all possible measures to ensure the peace and security of Japan by continuing to make utmost efforts to collect information and maintain vigilance and surveillance in close cooperation with the United States and other countries.
Regarding how we will respond to the situation going forward, including possible sanctions, we will work closely within the Japan-U.S. and Japan-U.S.-South Korea frameworks, as well as in collaboration with other countries concerned. I also hope to confirm cooperation in response to North Korea’s ballistic missiles at the G7 summit meeting later today.

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