North Korea fired a ballistic missile into nearby seas on Sunday, drawing a joint rebuke from Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and U.S. President Donald Trump.
Abe, speaking at a briefing with Trump in Florida, said the missile test “can absolutely not be tolerated” and called on North Korea to fully comply with United Nations Security Council resolutions. The launch was the first provocation by North Korea since Trump took office.
“The United States of America stands behind Japan, its great ally, 100 percent,” Trump said in brief remarks. Neither Abe nor Trump took questions.
Kim Jong Un’s regime has accelerated North Korea’s efforts to develop nuclear weapons and missiles that can strike the U.S. and its allies in Asia. In response, the U.S. plans to deploy a missile defense system known as Thaad in South Korea, a move opposed by China, North Korea’s primary ally.
The missile test came amid signs that Trump — having previously chided Japan for what he said was an insufficient contribution to the cost of housing U.S. troops there — is seeking to reset his relationship with Abe. While Pyongyang may not have timed the launch specifically to send a signal to the new U.S. administration, it allowed Abe and Trump to present a collective response.