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North Korea says it has right to "self defense" after missile launch

North Korea missile launch
North Korea launches missile over Japan 01:08

In the wake of North Korea's latest missile launch, an official said the country was justified to exercise its right to "self defense," the Reuters news agency reports.

On Tuesday, North Korea's ambassador to the United Nations in Geneva, Han Tae Song, accused the U.S. of driving the Korean peninsula toward an "extreme level of explosion," claiming the United States has "openly declared its hostile intentions" toward the country.

Han said in response to the U.S. and South Korea holding "aggressive" joint military exercises in the region, "despite repeated warnings," his country has "every reason to respond with tough counter-measures."

While the ambassador did not explicitly refer to Monday's latest ballistic missile launched over Japan, Han warned the U.S. that it would be "wholly responsible for the catastrophic consequences it will entail."

Following the missile launch, Japan's Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and President Trump discussed over the phone the U.N. ramping up further pressure on North Korea and calling for an international response to the growing tensions in the region. The two called for an emergency meeting of the U.N. Security Council to address these concerns.

Mr. Trump, who earlier this month warned of "fire and fury" for the regime in response to its earlier missile launches, issued a new charge to the North, saying that "all options are on the table" to respond to the increasing threat posed by the country.

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