WASHINGTON: US President Joe Biden on Tuesday (local time) spoke with Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida and jointly condemned North Korea's test firing of a ballistic missile that overflew Japan.
"The leaders jointly condemned the DPRK's missile test in the strongest terms, recognizing the launch as a danger to the Japanese people, destabilizing to the region, and a clear violation of United Nations Security Council resolutions," a White House statement read.
North Korea on Tuesday conducted its longest-ever weapons test, a nuclear-capable ballistic missile that flew over Japan, after which Tokyo urged residents to evacuate to shelters.
According to Kyodo News, early Tuesday, the government issued an alert urging residents in Japan's northernmost main island of Hokkaido and the country's northeastern prefecture of Aomori to stay inside buildings.
The White House said that both Biden and Kishida confirmed that they would continue to closely coordinate their immediate and longer-term response bilaterally, trilaterally with the Republic of Korea, and with the international community.
"They confirmed they would continue to closely coordinate their immediate and longer-term response bilaterally, trilaterally with the Republic of Korea, and with the international community. The leaders discussed the importance of immediate return and resolution of the cases of Japanese citizens abducted by the DPRK and resolved to continue every effort to limit the DPRK's ability to support its unlawful ballistic missile and weapons of mass destruction programs," the statement added.
Tuesday's missile launch was the first such missile launch in years, prompting a warning for residents to take cover in northern Japan. Last week, North Korea fired missiles in an apparent protest against joint naval drills involving the United States and South Korea. Under the Kim Jong-un regime, North Korea this year has tested a record number of missiles as it expands its weapons arsenal.