Press Conference by Foreign Press Secretary ONO Hikariko
Wednesday, May 31, 2023, 3:00 p.m. Ministry of Foreign Affairs
North Korea’s Launch of a Suspected Ballistic Missile
NHK, Morita:North Korea launched a suspected ballistic missile this morning. In response, does the Government of Japan have any plans to request a public meeting of the United Nations Security Council (UNSC)? Additionally, North Korea has stated that the launch failed and that it will investigate the cause and conduct a second launch promptly. Could you please tell us the outlook of the Government of Japan?
Ms. ONO Hikariko, Press Secretary:North Korea’s series of actions, including repeated launches of ballistic and other missiles, threaten the peace and security of Japan, the region, and the international community. North Korea’s launch of a suspected ballistic missile today constitutes a grave provocation against the security of Japan.
Furthermore, any such launch, even if referred to as a “satellite,” is a violation of relevant UNSC resolutions that ban any launch using North Korea’s ballistic missile technology. Japan lodged its serious protest and strongly condemned North Korea.
With regard to how Japan will be dealing with this matter, including actions at the UNSC forum, I would like to refrain from answering based on speculation. Following this launch, Mr. FUNAKOSHI Takehiro, Director-General of the Asian and Oceanian Affairs Bureau of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, held a telephone consultation today with U.S. Special Representative for the DPRK Sung Kim and Republic of Korea (ROK) Special Representative for Korean Peninsula Peace and Security Affairs Kim Gunn. The three sides reaffirmed to work closely in dealing with North Korea, including the responses at UNSC. Japan intends to work closely with the United States, the ROK, and other countries, and urge North Korea to exercise restraint in its provocations and comply with relevant UNSC resolutions.
Additionally, we are aware of the information disseminated by North Korea’s side, including announcements by North Korea’s media. I would like to refrain from commenting on them individually. The Government of Japan has been constantly conducting necessary information gathering and analysis on North Korea’s military moves. We believe that North Korea may conduct further provocations.
The Government will continue to make all efforts to conduct necessary information gathering and analysis and to implement vigilance and surveillance activities in close cooperation with the United States, the ROK, and other countries. For more details, please inquire with the Ministry of Defense.
Situation in Ukraine (Drone Attacks on Moscow)
Kyodo News, Katsurada:I have a question on Ukraine. There were several drone attacks on Moscow yesterday. President Putin has condemned the Ukrainian side, saying, “This is clearly a sign of terrorist activity.” Meanwhile, a Ukrainian senior government official simply stated that Ukraine was not directly involved. Please share with us the Government of Japan’s perspective on these attacks.
Press Secretary Ono:We are aware that, according to announcements by relevant Russian authorities including the Russian Ministry of Defense, drone attacks were carried out in several places in Moscow on the morning of May 30, which have resulted in damage to buildings and a few injuries.
As of now, we have not received any information about deaths or injuries to Japanese residents. The Embassy of Japan in Russia has issued a consular email advising Japanese residents to stay on alert. Japan will continue to exert all efforts to ensure the safety of overseas Japanese nationals.
In addition, as you said in your question, we are aware President Putin stated that the attacks were conducted by the Ukrainian side. We are also aware that the Ukrainian side has denied its involvement.
Japan is not in a position to answer about the facts of this matter. We will continue to closely monitor the situation with serious concern.