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Press Conference by the Chief Cabinet Secretary

February 9, 2016 (PM)

Press Conference by the Chief Cabinet Secretary (Excerpt)

[Provisional Translation]



REPORTER: I have a question about North Korea’s missile. Prime Minister Abe spoke by phone with President Obama this morning. It appears that the Prime Minister referred to the missile launch as a “long-range ballistic missile” in the conversation. Has the Government confirmed that the missile was a long-range ballistic missile? Please update us on the status of the analyses.

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SUGA: I am aware of the media report you mentioned. While North Korea asserts that it launched a satellite, the Government has been saying for a long time when launches have occurred that they are essentially ballistic missiles. In my recent Chief Cabinet Secretary statement, I used the expression “North Korea launched a ballistic missile, which it calls a ‘satellite.’” At any rate, the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) has issued a statement following the latest launch that describes it as something that contributes to North Korea’s development of a nuclear weapon delivery system, even though it might be characterized as a satellite launch or space launch vehicle, and asserts that it is a serious violation of relevant UNSC resolutions, just as it has done after previous launches by North Korea using ballistic missile technology. Our view, that the launch is simply being called a satellite, is as I have described now, and it is true that the Government has continuously used the phrase “a ballistic missile, which is being called a ‘satellite.’”


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