North Korea Launches An ICBM

North Korea fired at least three missiles, including an intercontinental ballistic missile, prompting Japan to issue evacuation advisories and stop trains.

Recent North Korean nuclear tests have escalated tensions in the area. They came a day after Pyongyang launched more than 20 missiles, a record.

North Korea Launches An ICBM
North Korea Launches An ICBM

South Korea’s Joint Chiefs of Staff said the North fired an ICBM from near Pyongyang at 7:40 a.m. and two short-range missiles an hour later from Kacheon toward its eastern seas.

The missile reached a maximum height of 1,920 kilometers (1,193 miles) and traveled roughly 760 kilometers (472 miles), according to South Korea’s military.

The launch’s success wasn’t evident.

Yasukazu Hamada, Japan’s defense minister, released identical flight information but stated his military lost sight of the missile between the Korean Peninsula and Japan.

Choi Yong Soo, a South Korean Navy commander who handles public relations for Seoul’s Defense Ministry, said the test was still being assessed.

Yonhap, citing unidentified military sources, stated that the missile may have lost control after a stage separation.

The Japanese government thought the ICBM would fly over its northern territories but eventually changed its mind. Hirokazu Matsuno, Japan’s chief cabinet secretary, said a trajectory analysis suggested a flyover.

The office of Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida instructed people of Miyagi, Yamagata, and Niigata to get inside or underground.

No damage or casualties have been reported in alert zones. Following the missile threat, bullet train services were momentarily paused before restarting. Kishida criticized the North’s missile launches and said authorities were examining them.

The office of South Korean President Yoon Suk Yeol stated his national security director Kim Sung-han addressed the launches during an emergency security meeting.

The office said South Korea would continue its joint military drills with the U.S. in response to North Korea’s growing testing activities, which would deepen the North’s international isolation and unleash greater economic pain on its people.

National Security Council spokesman Adrienne Watson said the U.S. firmly condemns the North’s ICBM launch and that President Joe Biden and his national security team are monitoring the situation in close consultation with allies and partners.

This launch, like with others this week, violates numerous UN Security Council resolutions and risks destabilizing the area, Watson warned

She said the US would take all necessary steps to protect its nation and allies South Korea and Japan.

One of the more than 20 missiles North Korea fired on Wednesday traveled toward a South Korean island and landed near their tense maritime border, sparking air raid sirens and pushing inhabitants to flee. South Korea launched missiles in the same border region.

North Korea vowed to use nuclear weapons to make the U.S. and South Korea “pay the most horrific price in history” in protest at South Korean-U.S. military maneuvers it perceives as a rehearsal for an invasion.

This year, North Korea has increased its weapon displays. It has shot dozens of missiles, including its first intercontinental ballistic missile display since 2017, to advance military development and pressure the U.S. and its Asian allies.

The North’s nuclear policy enables preemptive assaults in a range of crisis circumstances. North Korea may detonate a nuclear bomb in the next weeks, U.S. and South Korean officials warn.

U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken called South Korean Foreign Minister Park Jin to discuss Wednesday’s missile launches, including one that “recklessly and dangerously” landed near the South Korean coastline, and reiterated the “ironclad” U.S. commitment to its ally’s security.

State Department spokesman Ned Price raised worries about North Korea’s probable seventh nuclear test. Experts think such tests might push North Korea closer to creating a full-fledged arsenal to threaten U.S. allies and the U.S. mainland.

“A seventh nuclear test would be risky, irresponsible, and disruptive,” Price added.

North Korea last launched a missile over Japan in October, calling it a test of a new intermediate-range ballistic missile that might reach Guam, a U.S. military base in the Pacific. This launch caused Japan to issue evacuation advisories and halt rail service.

Experts believe North Korea is pursuing brinkmanship to force the U.S. to recognise it as a nuclear state and negotiate economic and security concessions from a strong position.

Since early 2019, nuclear discussions between Washington and Pyongyang have been stuck amid disputes over U.S.-led sanctions and North Korean disarmament initiatives.

The North has rebuffed the Biden administration’s requests for open-ended negotiations, asking that Washington abandon its “hostile” policy, which it uses to define sanctions and U.S.-South Korea military drills.

White House National Security Council spokesman John Kirby said Wednesday that the Biden administration has regularly reached out to North Korean officials via diplomatic channels and “is eager to meet down with North Korea without precondition to discuss denuclearization.”

 

 

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