North Korea attempted to launch a rocket carrying a satellite the previous day but was unsuccessful, Japan's top government spokesman said Thursday, acknowledging that the projectile fired by North Korea was carrying an object.
At a news conference, Chief Cabinet Secretary Hirokazu Matsuno criticized North Korean for having utilized ballistic missile technology in the launch. Such technology is banned under U.N. Security Councils resolutions.
"We believe North Korea will take more provocative actions," Matsuno said, adding, "Japan will continue to urge" Pyongyang to "abide by relevant U.N. Security Council resolutions."
On Wednesday, Pyongyang fired what it claimed was its first "military reconnaissance satellite" on the first day of a pre-declared launch window through June 11. North Korea has vowed to launch a similar satellite again as soon as possible.
In 1998, North Korea launched a rocket carrying what it said was a satellite, but many considered the projectile to be a ballistic missile. Part of the rocket flew over the Japanese archipelago, prompting Tokyo to step up efforts to build a missile shield.
In 2016, Pyongyang fired a long-range rocket in defiance of repeated international warnings, after informing the International Maritime Organization of a plan to launch an observation satellite.
Up until last year, North Korea had notified authorities of four launch windows and fired projectiles, but it remains unknown whether any satellites were actually launched.