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S. Korea, US, Japan seek united action at UN against N. Korea

Japan's Defense Minister Gen Nakatani (C) speaks to the media regarding North Korea's missile launch, in Tokyo, Japan, in this photo taken by Kyodo August 3, 2016.

The Japanese Defense Ministry said the missile flew around 1,000 kilometers before falling in Japan's EEZ 250 km west of the Oga Peninsula in Akita Prefecture.

North Korea's latest ballistic missile launches will be condemned by the UN Security Council, US Ambassador Samantha Power predicted following an emergency meeting.

Britain's deputy United Nations ambassador Peter Wilson said as he headed into the emergency council meeting they were concerned that it was the first time a North Korean missile had landed in Japan's EEZ.

The US Strategic Command confirmed two missiles were launched - one of them exploded immediately after takeoff, while the second was tracked over North Korea and into the Sea of Japan.

Weeks later, the U.S. placed Kim Jong-un on a sanctions list, citing United Nations documentation of human rights abuses, eliciting a furious response from the North Korean foreign ministry, which cut off its last remaining formal channel of communication with the US. Now the U.S. maintains approximately 28,500 troops in South Korea.

The Rodong missile, which has a maximum range of about 900 miles, could be modified to carry a nuclear warhead.

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The missile firing may be part of North Korea's response to last month's decision by South Korea to deploy US -made THAAD anti-missile missiles.

The South's Joint Chiefs of Staff noted that one of the missiles flew across the peninsula from the western province of South Hwanghae - a source cited by local news agency Yonhap suggested that it traveled close to its full range, which is estimated to be 1,300 kilometers (808 miles). "I firmly protested against North Korea's unforgivable action which is in obvious defiance of U.N. Security Council resolutions", he said.

A study published by the Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies in the United States concluded that North Korea has between six and eight nuclear warheads.

The North came under the latest round of U.N. Security Council sanctions in March after its fourth nuclear test in January and the launch of a long-range rocket the following month.

A US State Department spokesman condemned the launch, saying it will "only increase the global community's resolve to counter" North Korea's actions. State Department spokeswoman Anna Richey-Allen said, "We remain prepared to work with our allies and partners around the world to respond to further DPRK (Democratic People's Republic of Korea) provocations, as well as to defend ourselves and our allies from any attack or provocation".

And at the end of July, the North held a ballistic missile test simulating a strike on South Korean ports and airfields, which are heavily operated by USA military forces.

Over in South Korea, analysts say the missile launch is a show of force against upcoming annual military drills with the United States. Almost 30,000 U.S. troops are permanently stationed in South Korea.

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