‘Provocative act,’ U.S. says; Japan calls for emergency U.N. meeting
SEOUL, South Korea – North Korea fired a rocket over Japan on Sunday, defying Washington, Tokyo and other world leaders who suspect the launch was cover for a test of its long-range missile technology. President Barack Obama warned the move would further isolate the communist nation.
Liftoff took place at 11:30 a.m. (6:30 p.m. ET) from the coastal Musudan-ri launch pad in northeastern North Korea, the South Korean and U.S. governments said. The multistage rocket hurtled toward the Pacific, reaching Japanese airspace within seven minutes, but no debris appeared to hit its territory, officials in Tokyo said.
The U.N. Security Council approved an emergency session for Sunday afternoon in New York, following a request from Japan that came just minutes after the launch.
Bold act of defiance
Sunday’s move was a bold act of defiance against President Barack Obama, Japanese leader Taro Aso, Hu Jintao of China and others who pressed Pyongyang in the days leading up to liftoff to call off a launch they said would threaten peace and stability in Northeast Asia.