The Latest: Japan, S. Korean leaders discuss North’s missile

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The Latest on North Korea’s missile launch (all times local):

12:30 p.m.

Japan’s Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said he and South Korean President Moon Jae-in discussed by phone North Korea’s latest missile test, while his top national security adviser also spoke with his U.S. counterpart.

Abe says “Japan is closely cooperating with the U.S. and South Korea and analyzing the situation as we firmly respond to the development.”

It was his second appearance before reporters Sunday after North Korea fired the missile that Japanese officials say may have been a new type given its flight time and unusually high altitude.

Abe added that the three countries also seek to cooperate with China and Russia to pressure North Korea to comply with U.N. Security Council resolutions to stop further missile and nuclear tests.

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12 noon

The White House says President Donald Trump “cannot imagine that Russia is pleased” with North Korea’s latest missile test because the missile landed so close to Russian soil.

In a statement issued Saturday night, the White House press secretary points out that the missile landed closer to Russia than to Japan.

The White House says North Korea has been “a flagrant menace for far too long.” And it says South Korea and Japan have been watching this situation closely with the U.S.

The statement says the U.S. maintains its “ironclad commitment” to stand with its allies in the face of the serious threat posed by North Korea. And the White House says the latest “provocation” should serve as a call for all nations to implement far stronger sanctions against the North.

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10:50 a.m.

Japan’s defense minister says the missile test-fired by North Korea might have been a new type given the altitude and duration of its flight.

Defense Minister Tomomi Inada told reporters there is a possibility that it was a new type of ballistic missile, saying it flew Sunday for about 30 minutes and an altitude exceeding 2,000 kilometers (1,240 miles). She says more analysis was needed.

Earlier, Japanese officials said the missile landed in the Sea of Japan but outside the country’s exclusive economic zone.

South Korea’s President Moon Jae-in has strongly condemned the launch, saying there was still the possibility of dialogue with North Korea but that Seoul would deal sternly with any such provocations.

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10:20 a.m.

South Korean President Moon Jae-in has strongly condemned rival North Korea’s missile test-launch as a “clear” violation of U.N. Security Council resolutions and a “serious challenge” to international peace and security.

According to senior presidential secretary Yoon Young-chan, Moon expressed “deep regret” over the fact this “provocation” occurred just days after a new government was sworn in in South Korea.

Yoon quoted Moon as saying South Korea is “leaving open the possibility of dialogue with North Korea, but we should sternly deal with a provocation to prevent North Korea from miscalculating.”

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9:35 a.m.

Japan’s Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga says the missile test-fired by North Korea flew 800 kilometers (500 miles) for about 30 minutes and landed in the Sea of Japan, but not inside Japan’s exclusive economic zone.

He says there are no reports indicating there was any safety impact on aircraft and ship transport.

He says the missile was not flying toward Japan and that the country did not launch a safety alert system.

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe told reporters Sunday that the launch, which is banned by the United Nations, is “absolutely unacceptable” and that Japan will respond resolutely.

He says officials are studying possible implications of the launch that came days after South Korea’s new president took office and an international conference is being hosted by China.

Japan also lodged protest to North Korea over the missile launch through the Japanese Embassy in Beijing.

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