Donald Trump has warned North Korea “all options are on the table” after the regime fired a ballistic missile towards Japan.
Trump, who previously warned “fire and fury” would rain down on the isolationist dictatorship, said it had “signalled its contempt for its neighbours”.
The missile, which was fired at around 6am local time on Tuesday, prompted text warnings to locals in Hokkaido, in Japan’s north, to take shelter in basements or strong structures.
The missile flew over Hokkaido before breaking into three pieces over the Pacific Ocean.
Trump spoke to Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe after the attack and said the “US stands with Japan 100 percent”.
“The world has received North Korea’s latest message loud and clear: this regime has signalled its contempt for its neighbours, for all members of the United Nations, and for minimum standards of acceptable international behaviour,” Trump said in a statement on Tuesday afternoon.
“Threatening and destabilising actions only increase the North Korean regime’s isolation in the region and among all nations of the world. All options are on the table.”
Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson tweeted earlier: “Outraged at reckless provocation by #NorthKorea. Strongly condemn latest illegal missile launch by #DPRK.”
Fears the missile could affect Theresa May’s trip to Japan later this week were dismissed by Downing Street.
“There aren’t any changes to our visit plans. We are going on the trip, the plans haven’t changed at all, there’s been no deviation from that,” the PM’s official spokeswoman said on Tuesday.
“The Prime Minister is outraged by North Korea’s reckless provocation and she strongly condemns these illegal tests.”
“Over the next three days, the Prime Minister will have quite a lot of time with Prime Minister Abe to discuss among other things North Korea,” they added.
“There was a round of sanctions agreed unanimously in early August, we expect those sanctions measures will be discussed at the UN Security Council later today. We will see what emerges from that.”
The test, one of the most provocative ever from the reclusive state, appeared to have been of a recently developed intermediate-range Hwasong-12 missile, experts said.
It came as US and South Korean forces conduct annual military drills on the peninsula, to which North Korea strenuously objects.
Earlier this month, North Korea threatened to fire four Hwasong-12 missiles into the sea near the US Pacific territory of Guam after President Donald Trump warned Pyongyang would face “fire and fury” if it threatened the United States.
North Korea has conducted dozens of ballistic missile tests under young leader Kim Jong Un, the most recent on Saturday, but firing projectiles over mainland Japan is rare.
“North Korea’s reckless action is an unprecedented, serious and a grave threat to our nation,” Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe told reporters.