North Korea missile launch highlights: Asian markets take a hit, Australia PM calls for tougher action on Pyongyang

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North Korea invited criticism from the United States and South Korea early on Friday morning (IST) after it launched an intermediate-range missile eastwards over Japan. The missile was launched from near Pyongyang. The latest launch came after the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) imposed the eighth set of sanctions on the country over its banned missile and nuclear programmes.

According to South Korean and Japanese officials, cited by news agency Reuters, the missile flew over Japan’s northern Hokkaido, far out into the Pacific Ocean. The missile flew over Japan and landed in the Pacific about 2,000 km (1,240 miles) east of Hokkaido, Japanese Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga told reporters.

North Korea missile launch LIVE Updates

2:30 pm: Chinese academics are publicly broaching the idea that China and US should share their plans on how to deal with potential conflict on Korean Peninsula. China, over the years, has rebuked US military brass over the efforts to share a strategy on war or regime collapse in Pyongyang, citing suspicions on Washington’s intentions. Read More

1:30 pm: United Kingdom Foreign Minister Boris Johnson on Friday criticised North Korea’s “illegal” missile launch and and asked international community to stand together.

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Yet another illegal missile launch by North Korea. UK and international community will stand together in the face of these provocations.

1:20 pm: China Foreign Ministry on Friday said it opposed North Korea’s use of ballistic missiles, but urged a peaceful and diplomatic resolution to the tensons. Speaking to reporters, ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying stressed the need for a peaceful resolution. The emphasis on curbing North Korea’s missile and nuclear capabilities should not come at the expense of pushing for a peaceful and diplomatic resolution, she said. She further added that sincerity of UN Security Council resolutions should not be doubted. China had made enormous sacrifices to implement United Nations Security Council resolutions and that its sincerity could not be doubted, she said.

12:40 pm: To read up on the latest missile launches by North Korea, and how the world has reacted to it,

12:35 pm: Indian market is facing a hit as shares fell on Friday due to weak Asian markets after North Korea’s missile launch. Speaking to news agency Reuters, Gaurang Shah, head investment strategist at Geojit Financial Services, said, “The market sentiment is subdued following (North Korea’s) missile launch and also consolidation seems to be happening across sectors, including pharma and banks.”

12:30 pm: Japan defence minister Itsunori Onodera on Friday said Pyongyang has “Guam in mind” after a missile launch over Japan earlier in the day. Speaking to reporters on Fridyay, Onodera said, that Friday’s missile, which overflew Japanese territory, flew 3,700 kilometres -“long enough to cover Guam”, which is 3,400 kilometres (2,100 miles) from North Korea. “We cannot assume North Korea’s intention, but given what it has said, I think it has Guam in mind,” Onodera added.

11:55 am: United Nations Security Council has called for an emergency meeting on Friday, at the request of US and Japan. Earlier this week, the international body had imposed new set of sanctions on North Korea. The sanctions put a ban on all textile exports and prohibited any country from authorising new work permits for North Korean workers. The sanctions also put a prohibition on importing all natural gas liquirs and condensates, and capped Pyongyang’s imports of crude oil and refined petroleum products. The sanctions were criticised by North Korea’s Foreign Ministry who said, the country will “redouble its efforts to increase its strength to safeguard the country’s sovereignty and right to existence.”

11:50 am: What happened when North Korea’s missile passed over Japan? Warning sirens started blaring when the North Korean missile was launched and again when it passed overhead. According to a report by AP, the TV stations started giving out warnings to people to move inside their buildings and hide in the basement. Meanwhile, as a precautionary measure, trains and subways were stopped on a northern island, for safety check.

11:40 am: How has United States reacted to North Korea’s latest missile launch.

11:30 am: What does North Korea’s repeated missile tests indicate? Tensions have increased with North Korea continuing with missile tests in spite of repeated warnings by US and United nations. According to AP, the increasing frequency, power and confidence displayed by these tests appears to confirm the suspicions that the country is inching closer to its goal of establishing a military arsenal that can take on the might United States on any turf. It further will provide North Korea with more military freedom in the region as Seoul and Tokyo will doubt whether Washington would risk destruction of US city to protect its allies.

11:00 am: Here is a timeline of the missile launches by North Korea in recent times

10:30 am: Indian markets too suffered amid weak Asian leads after North Korea launched another missile over Japan on Friday. Benchmark BSE Sensex dropped by over 68 points in the opening trade. The 30-share index went from 68.45 to 0.21 per cent to 32,173.48.

10:25 am: How South Korea, US has reacted to North Korea’s latest missile launch

9:45 am: An emergency response official on Japan’s northern island of Hokkaido told reporters that business in the region has remained usual for most of the morning, after the missile launch by North Korea. Earlier Hokkaido prefectural emergency official official Shuji Koshida had said that local trains and subways briefly stopped for safety checks but there was no panicking or traffic jams.

9:30 am: Australia Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull on Friday slammed North Korea’s missile launch. Describing the launch as “reckless and dangerous”, Turnbull called for tougher punishments against Pyongyang. “This is another example of why it is vitally important to continue to tighten those economic sanctions on North Korea,” Turnbull said. He further called for a greater global action to deter North Korea from escalating tensions. Describing a war started by Kim Jong-un as “catastrophe”, Turnbull said, “He would be signing a suicide note. That would be the end for his government, and thousands and thousands of people would die.”

8:40 am: North Korea’s missile launch has had an adverse affect on the markets on Friday:

* In United States, US stock futures and Asian shares saw a dip. In Wall Street, Standard & Poor’s 500 index slid by 0.1 per cent to 2,495.62. The Dow Jones industrial average rose 0.2 percent to 22,203.48. The Nasdaq composite slumped 0.5 percent to 6,429.08. While US stick futures fell over 0.2 per cent, MSCI’s Asia-Pacific share index, excluding Japan, saw a dip of 0.4 per cent. In Japan, Nikkei saw a rise of 0.1 per cent.

* Yen remained stedy against Dollar. While dollar saw a dip from 110.25 yen to as low as 109.55 yen, in early Asian trade, it later pared its losses, and was last trading at 110.19 yen, according to Reuters.

* In Hong Kong, Asian stocks were mostly lower. Hang Seng fell 0.8 per cent to reach 27, 571.42. In South Korea, Kospi lost 0.4 per cen to reach 2,369.32. In china, Shanghai Composite lost 0.6 per cent to reach 3,353.11. In Australia, S&P/ASX 200 sank 0.6 percent to 5,704.90. In New Zealand, S&P/NZZ 50 index shed 0.5 per cent or 36.44 points, to reach 7,782.79.

We will keep you updated with the market situation as and when we receive inputs.

8:30 am: North Korea missile launch recap: On September 3, North Korea claimed that it had carried out its sixth and most powerful nuclear test. The Communist nation also announced that the test was for an advanced hydrogen bomb for a long-range missile. Indian on Sunday had condemened the nuclear test. “We call upon North Korea to refrain from such actions which adversely impact peace and stability in the region and beyond,” the External Affairs Ministry had said in a statement.

8:22 am: Japanese Foreign Minister Taro Kono told reporters that he had a word with US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson over the missile launch. Kono said both the ministers have agreed on a need for the international society to come together to apply pressure on the North.

8:20 am: North Korea missile launch recap: In August, US President had Donald Trump had threatened North Korea with “fire and fury”, after North Korea conducted its most powerful nuclear test and launched two missiles of increasing range over US ally Japan. In spite of warnings by Trump, North Korea has continued testing missile tests over what it describes as “US hostility”.

8:10 am: North Korea’s missile launch on Friday over Japan into the northern Pacific Ocean is its longest-ever such flight. The missile launch is being considered to be a clear message of defiance to its rivals.

8:05 am: In a latest update, South Korea President Moon Jae-in instructed South Korea officials to pursue “stern” diplomatic and military measures to discourage North Korea from further provocations. After a National Security Council meeting in Seoul, Presidential spokesman Park Su-hyun said that Moon also called for a stronger preparation against the threat of biological and chemical weapons attacks.

7:55 am: According to a report by Reuters, the White House, in a statement said that President Donald Trump has been informed about the latest missile launch.

7:45 am: UN Security Council, which had earlier set its eighth set of sanctions on North Korea, scheduled an emergency meeting on Friday after a missile was launched from Pyongyang over Japan in the early hours. Speaking to reporters, Ethiopia’s UN Mission, which holds the council presidency this month, said closed-door consultations will take place at the request of Japan and United States.

7:43 am: US Pacific Command had earlier clarified the missile that was launched over Japan was an intermediate range missile. It further said the North American Aerospace Defense Command determined the missile did not pose a threat to North America.

7:42 am: US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, in a statement to media, asked China and Russia to take actions against North Korea. Speaking to reporters, Tillerson asked China and Russia to “indicate their intolerance” to the provocative missile tests carried out by the Communist-nation. “China supplies North Korea with most of its oil. Russia is the largest employer of North Korean forced labour. China and Russia must indicate their intolerance for these reckless missile launches by taking direct actions of their own,” Tillerson said.

7:35 am: Japan Prime Minister Shinzo Abe described the missile launch as “dangerous provocation action that threatens world peace” and said he will “never tolerate” such an act. Speaking to media reporters in Tokyo, Abe said, “We can never tolerate that North Korea trampled on the international community’s strong, united resolve toward peace that has been shown in UN resolutions and went ahead again with this outrageous act,” Abe further warned North Korea that if it continues doing so, it will not have a bright future. “If North Korea continues to walk down this path, it has no bright future. We must make North Korea understand this,” he said.

7:30 am: South Korea condemns North Korea’s missile launch over Japan on Friday. Speaking to reporters, President Moon Jae-in said that the provocations made by the country will only result in further diplomatic and economic isloations. “President Moon ordered officials to closely analyse and prepare for new possible North Korean threats like EMP (electro-magnetic pulse) and biochemical attacks,” Moon’s spokesman Park Su-hyun said in a media briefing.

7:10 am: US military said that soon after the launch of the missile, it detected a single intermediate range ballistic missile, Reuters reported. As per reports, the US military believes the missile did not pose a threat to North America or the US Pacific territory of Guam, where Pyongyang earlier threatened to strike.

7:05 am: US Secretary of Defense James Mattis, in a statement, said the missile launch “put millions of Japanese into duck and cover”. According to Reuters, residents in Northern Japan appeared calm and went about their business as normal.

7:00 am: Speaking to reporters, Japanese Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga said that the missile flew over Japan and landed in the Pacific Ocean. The missile flew over Japan and landed in the Pacific about 2,000 km (1,240 miles) east of Hokkaido, he said.