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Press Conference by the Chief Cabinet Secretary

July 19, 2016 (AM)

If you can not view the video,click here(Japanese Government Internet TV)
Simultaneous interpretation services for this video are provided by a third party.

Press Conference by the Chief Cabinet Secretary (Excerpt)

[Provisional Translation]

Opening Statement by Chief Cabinet Secretary Suga 
It appears that North Korea launched one ballistic missile from its western shore in the vicinity of Hwangju at around 5:44 a.m. and one at around 6:36 a.m. The first missile flew approximately 400km and the second one flew approximately 500km and both are thought to have fallen into the Sea of Japan. The Government is currently engaged in analysis concerning the details of these launches. As of now, we have no confirmed reports of damage to aircraft or vessels or other such information. As regards the Government, following the first report from the Ministry of Defense to the Cabinet Secretariat, a report was immediately made to the Prime Minister and the Chief Cabinet Secretary. The Prime Minister has issued instructions to dedicate the greatest possible efforts to gathering and analyzing information, and provide information to the public in a timely and accurate manner; thorough ensure the safety of aircraft, vessels, etc.; and take all possible preparations, including preparations for contingencies. In addition, information has been consolidated at the Response Office within the Prime Minister’s Office for the Situation in North Korea. Furthermore, a meeting among director-general-level officials of the relevant ministries and agencies was held from 7:15 a.m., in which discussions took place on information aggregation and responses. These latest ballistic missile launches by North Korea are extremely problematic acts from the standpoint of ensuring the security of aircraft and vessels. In addition, they violate the relevant United Nations Security Council resolutions, including the recently adopted Resolution 2270, and the Japan-DPRK Pyongyang Declaration, and go against the purport of the Joint Statement of the Six-Party Talks. Japan immediately lodged a serious protest to North Korea through the embassy channel in Beijing. Based on the instructions from the Prime Minister, the Government will coordinate closely with our allies, the United States and the Republic of Korea (ROK), and with other relevant countries, to strongly urge North Korea to exercise self-restraint, including at the UN Security Council, and, with a sense of urgency, take all possible necessary responses to be able to respond to any situation. The Government will communicate information as appropriate. The people are asked to stay tuned to information from the Government and behave in a calm manner.



REPORTER: North Korea has strongly opposed the recently announced deployment of the Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) missile defense system to U.S. Forces stationed in the Republic of Korea (ROK) and has warned against physical responses that seek to contain it. Do you think that this missile launch is related to the recent announcement about THAAD deployment?

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SUGA: In any event, the Government is currently at the stage of collecting and analyzing information in cooperation with the United States and the ROK.

REPORTER: There are press reports quoting ROK government officials as stating that North Korea’s actions of late suggest that a nuclear test may be implemented in the near future. What are your views on such reports?

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SUGA: Whatever happens, the Government will continue to engage in monitoring and surveillance of actions by North Korea and we are always collecting and analyzing information about the possibility of such tests. However, due to the nature of this matter I would like to refrain from making any specific comment. What I would say, however, is that the Government is working together with the United States and the ROK in calling strongly on North Korea to refrain from provocative actions and comply with UNSC resolutions and the Joint Statement of the Six-Party Talks. We will continue to engage in monitoring and surveillance with a sense of urgency in order to be able to respond to any situation.

REPORTER: Has North Korea made any kind of response to the protest that was issued via the embassy route in Beijing?

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SUGA: The protest was lodged at 7:59 a.m. this morning. As this matter is one of diplomacy, I would like to refrain from commenting about the response or other matters.


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