North Korea has in the past conducted a series of missile launches despite UN sanctions
Following North Korea's missile firing, foreign ministers of Japan, China and South Korea met in Tokyo on Wednesday, August 24 to talk about closer multilateral cooperation.
Hours before the meeting, North Korea fired a submarine-launched ballistic missile that flew 500 km (311 miles) towards Japan. The country has in the recent past conducted a series of such launches despite UN sanctions.
"It's unforgivable that North Korea launched a submarine-launched ballistic missile (SLBM). Japan immediately protested against the North Korean missile launch and would like to cooperate closely with China and South Korea to lead the international community's response to it," Japanese Foreign Minister Fumio Kishida said at the meeting.
"North Korea's recent nuclear test and continual missile launches have been an urgent and grave threat to this region. In such situations, solidarity and cooperation among three countries is more important than ever," said South Korean Foreign Minister Yun Byung-se.
Chinese Foreign minister Wang Yi said that it was China's responsibility to promote economic development, lead regional cooperation and maintain regional peace and stability. "China insists that in the spirit of squarely facing history and advancing toward the future," he said.
Two days ago, South Korea and the United States began annual military exercises in the South which North Korea condemns as a preparation for invasion, and has threatened retaliation.
(With inputs from agencies)