The UN blasted North Korea's missile launch over Japan as "outrageous" while Pyongyang promised the latest provocation was only a "first step," Reuters reports. The UN Security Council called on North Korea to stop its aggressions, saying it was of "vital importance" the rogue nation take immediate steps to wind down rising tensions. North Korea is "deliberately undermining regional peace and stability," said Security Council President Abdellatif Aboulatta of Egypt, per CNN. But the 15-member panel declined to slap the regime with new sanctions, at least for now, despite a joint call to do so by South Korea and Japan. North Korea's state-run news agency on Wednesday warned the intermediate-range missile launch was a "first step" to further operations and a "meaningful prelude to containing Guam."
The threat level remained high in the US territory, which North Korea threatened earlier this month, drawing President Trump's counter-threat of "fire and fury." Kim Jong Un was reportedly "very satisfied" with Tuesday's launch, the first conducted from the capital. Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe called the launch "the most serious and grave threat ever" against his nation. Meanwhile, North Korean reports of the 1,680-mile missile flight over northern Japan lacked the typical bluster, per Reuters. The Hwasong-12 missile flew a shorter distance and at a lower trajectory than earlier launches before plunging into the sea. One South Korean expert says it was lacking in military significance but "was all about North Korea being stubborn." But, he adds, "North Korea is hinting that there is room for negotiation if the US and South Korea end the joint military exercises." (A North Korea nuclear strike may not be suicide after all.)