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Japan concerned about North's display of new ICBM: defense chief

Photo taken on Oct. 10, 2020, shows what appears to be a new type of intercontinental ballistic missile seen at a military parade in Pyongyang. (Kyodo)

TOKYO (Kyodo) -- Japan is concerned about North Korea's display of what appeared to be an intercontinental ballistic missile that is larger than any of Pyongyang's known ICBMs, Defense Minister Nobuo Kishi said Tuesday.

    "North Korea has been persistently pursuing the diversification of responses from attacks, and it has been steadily strengthening offensive capabilities. This is a new challenge" for the international community, Kishi said at a news conference.

    He made the remarks after North Korea, marking the 75th anniversary of the founding of its ruling party on Saturday, paraded a series of weapons systems including the ICBM and what looked like an upgraded version of a submarine-launched ballistic missile, or SLBM.

    Kishi pledged to step up coordination with the international community, such as through enforcing U.N. Security Council sanctions on Pyongyang, in reining in its missile development.

    Over the past years, North Korea has been subject to a spate of Security Council resolutions imposing sanctions for its illicit development of nuclear weapons and ballistic missiles.

    In a related development, the Defense Ministry said the Canadian navy began surveillance activities in waters around Japan in early October in an effort to block North Korea from carrying out illicit ship-to-ship cargo transfers.

    The navy will also conduct air-to-sea patrols of the water area from early November to early December for that purpose.

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