|Military personnel walk past Japan’s Ground Self-Defence Force Patriot Advanced Capability-3 (PAC-3) missile interceptor unit deployed to counter North Korea’s launch of ballistic missile at the Defense Ministry in Tokyo, Japan, Monday. According to media reports, North Korea has proceeded to launches of four ballistic missiles, as three of them crashed into Japan’s exclusive economic zone (EEZ) in the Sea of Japan. — EPA/VNA Photo|Viet Nam News
TOKYO — Three of the four missiles North Korea launched Monday landed in Japanese-controlled waters, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said, calling the development a "new stage of threat".
"North Korea today fired four ballistic missiles almost simultaneously and they flew some 1,000 kilometres," Abe said in parliament. "Three of them landed in our country’s Exclusive Economic Zone."
"This clearly shows North Korea has entered a new stage of threat," he said, adding he would call a meeting of the country’s National Security Council.
The incident marked just the second time that North Korean missiles have landed in Japan’s EEZ -- a 200-nautical mile area off its coast that gives it certain rights in terms of exploitation of natural resources.
North Korea in August last year fired a ballistic missile directly into Japan’s EEZ for the first time, one of a series of launches that drew intense international condemnation.
The Japan Coast Guard said that there was no damage reported to shipping in the area where the missiles landed.
Under international law, territorial waters extend up to 12 nautical miles (22 kilometres) from the coast of a landmass. — AFP