North Korea fires an ICBM into the sea near Japan in “blatant violation” of UN resolutions

North Korea fires an ICBM into the sea near Japan in “blatant violation” of UN resolutions

Seoul, South Korea

North Korea launched an intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) on Friday, the second missile test by the Kim Jong Un regime in two days, in actions condemned as brazen violations of multiple UN resolutions by the US and its allies.

The ICBM was launched at around 10:15 a.m. local time from the Sunan area of ​​North Korea’s capital Pyongyang and flew about 1,000 kilometers (621 miles) east, South Korea’s Joint Chiefs of Staff (JCS) said.

Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida said it likely went down in Japan’s exclusive economic zone (EEZ), about 210 kilometers (130 miles) west of the Japanese island of Oshima Oshima, according to the Japanese coast guard. He didn’t fly over Japan.

“North Korea continues to carry out provocative actions with unprecedented frequency,” Kishida told reporters on Friday at the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) meeting in Bangkok, Thailand.

“I want to reiterate that we cannot accept such actions,” he said.

The Japanese government will continue to collect and analyze information and provide prompt updates to the public, he said. So far, there have been no reports of damage to vessels at sea, Kishida added.

The ICBM reached an altitude of about 6,100 kilometers (3,790 miles) at Mach 22, or 22 times the speed of sound, according to the JCS, which said details were being analyzed by intelligence authorities in South Korea and the US.

On Friday morning, US Vice President Kamala Harris gathered on the sidelines of the APEC summit with the leaders of Japan, South Korea, Australia, New Zealand and Canada to condemn the launch, in a previously unscheduled press briefing.

“I have asked this group of allies and partners to come together and join us in condemning North Korea’s launch of long-range ballistic missiles,” she said. “I have also asked them to join so that we as allies and partners can consult on next steps. This recent behavior by North Korea is a brazen violation of numerous UN security resolutions. It destabilizes security in the region and unnecessarily raises tensions.”

South Korean President Yoon Suk Yeol on Friday also ordered the “active execution” of enhanced extended deterrence measures against North Korea.

The president said Seoul will strengthen its alliance with Washington and strengthen its defense posture and security cooperation with the US and Japan.

“The government will not tolerate North Korea’s provocations,” his office said in a statement. “The government has a tremendous response capability and willingness to react immediately to any North Korean provocations, so North Korea should not misjudge this.”

It added that North Korea has nothing to gain from continued provocations, warning that sanctions against the North will only intensify, resulting in Pyongyang’s further international isolation.

Friday’s missile was about 100 kilometers shorter in height and distance compared to Pyongyang’s March 24 missile test, which recorded the highest altitude and longest duration of any North Korean missile ever tested, the Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) reported. in time. That missile reached an altitude of 6,248.5 kilometers (3,905 miles) and flew a distance of 1,090 kilometers (681 miles), KCNA reported.

Calling the launch a “significant provocation and a serious act of threat”, the JCS warned the North of violating a UN Security Council resolution and urged it to stop immediately.

Misawa Air Force Base issued a shelter-in-place alert after the missile was fired, said U.S. Air Force Col. Greg Hignite, director of public affairs for U.S. Forces Japan. It has now been scrapped and the US military is still analyzing the flight path, he said.

US President Joe Biden has been briefed on the missile launch, and his national security team “will continue to consult closely with allies and partners,” National Security Council spokeswoman Adrienne Watson said in a statement on Friday.

“The door has not closed on diplomacy, but Pyongyang must immediately cease its destabilizing actions and choose diplomatic engagement instead,” Watson said. “The United States will take all necessary measures to ensure the security of the American homeland and the Republic of Korea and Japan’s allies.”

Friday’s launch comes a day after Pyongyang fired a short-range ballistic missile into waters off the east coast of the Korean peninsula and issued a stern warning to the United States of “fierce military confrontation” with its stronger defense ties with South Korea and Japan.

This is the second suspected ICBM test launch this month – an earlier missile was fired on November 3 he seemed to have faileda South Korean government source told CNN at the time.

The aggressive ramp-up of weapons testing and rhetoric has sparked alarm in the region, with the US, South Korea and Japan responding with missile launches and joint military exercises.

Leif-Eric Easley, an associate professor of international studies at Ewha Womans University in Seoul, said North Korea “is trying to disrupt international cooperation against it by escalating military tensions and suggesting it has the ability to put American cities at risk of nuclear attack.”

North Korea has conducted missile tests for 34 days this year, sometimes firing multiple missiles in one day, according to CNN. The number includes both cruise and ballistic missiles, the latter accounting for most of North Korea’s tests this year.

There are significant differences between these two types of projectiles.

A ballistic missile is launched by a rocket and travels outside the Earth’s atmosphere, gliding in space before re-entering the atmosphere and descending, propelled only by gravity to its target.

The cruise missile is powered by a jet engine, remains within the Earth’s atmosphere during its flight, and is maneuverable with control surfaces similar to that of an airplane.

Ankit Panda, a senior fellow in the Nuclear Policy Program at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, said that while he would not see Friday’s presumed ICBM launch “as a message, per se,” it could be seen as part of the North’s “process.” The Koreas are developing capabilities that Kim has identified as critical to modernizing their nuclear forces.”

US and international observers have warned for months that North Korea appears to be preparing for an underground nuclear test, with satellite images showing activity at a nuclear test site. Such a test would be the hermit nation’s first in five years.

Jeffrey Lewis, director of the East Asia Nonproliferation Program at the Center for Nonproliferation Studies, said the ICBM test was designed to confirm parts of North Korea’s missile program, something Kim Jong Un has promised to do this year.

The recent short-range tests “are exercises for front-line artillery units practicing pre-emptive nuclear strikes,” Lewis said.

He rejected any political or negotiating message from the tests.

“I would not think that these tests are primarily signaling. North Korea is not interested in talking right now,” Lewis said.

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