Penny Wong has condemned North Korea’s launch of a ballistic missile over Japanese territory as a “reckless and unacceptable act”.
The missile – the first launched over Japan since 2017 – travelled 4,500km before plunging into the Pacific Ocean, according to South Korea’s Joint Chiefs of Staff and the Japanese coast guard.
Residents in the northernmost main island of Hokkaido were issued a warning to take shelter from falling debris as train operations were temporary suspended in the region’s north.
Senator Wong said she continued to be “gravely concerned” by Pyongyang’s readiness to undertake a seventh nuclear weapons test.
“The test was a reckless and unacceptable act that threatens the security of our neighbours and partners and undermines the stability of the Indo-Pacific,” she said in statement.
“Pyongyang continues to show blatant disregard for multiple United Nations Security Council resolutions prohibiting its dangerous ballistic missile and weapons of mass destruction programs.”
The launch violates UN Security Council resolutions, which bans North Korea from testing ballistic and nuclear weapons.
In response US and South Korean warplanes undertook practice bombing in the Yellow Sea, and fighter jets from the US and Japan carried out joint military drills over the sea of Japan.
It is the first time North Korea has sent a missile over Japanese territory since 2017 and represents an escalation of missile tests by Kim Jong-un’s regime.
Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida heavily criticised the move, describing the launch as “violent behaviour”.
“This outrageous act follows recent repeated ballistic missile launches and we strongly condemn it,” Mr Kishida said.
“In response to this incident, I issued instructions to confirm if any damage has resulted from falling objects, to collect and analyse information thoroughly, and to work in cooperation with relevant countries.”
US President Joe Biden reaffirmed Washington’s “iron clad commitment” to Japan’s defence in a phone call with the Japanese Prime Minister on Tuesday.
Both leaders condemned the test and confirmed they will work with South Korea and the international community to develop an immediate and long-term response to Pyongyang’s escalation.
“The two 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 the United Nations Security Council resolutions,” the White House said in a statement.