TOKYO, Jan. 25 (Xinhua) -- Japanese Defense Minister Itsunori Onodera said here Friday that the missile research ability of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) has entered into a new stage, local media reported.
Onodera made the remark at a security meeting, which Prime Minister Shinzo Abe also attended. The defense minister said the conclusion was based on an analysis report on a missile launch made by the DPRK on Dec. 12 last year, according to Japan's Kyodo News Agency.
The defense minister said the missile, which the DPRK called as a rocket to send a satellite into orbit, could reach U.S. western coast more accurately with a range of more than 10,000 km.
Meanwhile, Onodera said that the capability of the DPRK's short-or-middle-range missiles has also been improved, posing more threats to Japan's security.
On Dec. 12, 2012, the DPRK successfully launched a rocket and sent a satellite into orbit, drawing international concerns over the situation in the Northeast Asia.
The 15-member UN Security Council on Tuesday unanimously approved a resolution on the rocket launch, requiring the DPRK to comply with all relevant resolutions approved by the Security Council and not to use ballistic missile technology for any launch.
However, the DPRK hit back on Thursday by vowing to conduct more launches and a higher-level nuclear test in response to UN sanctions.