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Although it remains unclear what exactly North Korea launched over Japan on Aug. 31, the government’s condemnation of Pyongyang’s act still stands, Chief Cabinet Secretary Hiromu Nonaka said Monday.

Pyongyang has insisted it launched a satellite, not a missile, as believed by Japan, and denounces Japan’s harsh response, including the halt of chartered flights to the country.

Speaking at a regular news conference, Nonaka acknowledged that the government has yet to obtain verification of what was launched last Monday, but stressed that North Korea did not give advance notice of the launch and that the act was extremely dangerous and regrettable.

The government’s position against North Korea, he said, therefore remains unchanged. Outraged by what it believes to have been a missile launching, Tokyo announced a major policy shift toward North Korea last week, suspending food aid, financial contributions to light-water nuclear reactor projects, as well as its offer to resume normalization talks with the Stalinist regime.

Meanwhile, when asked his view of North Korea’s election of Kim Jong Il as chairman of the National Defense Commission, Nonaka said he is personally concerned over the nation’s increasing military presence.

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