Seoul, South Korea
North Korea launched an intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) on Friday, the second missile test by Kim Jong-un’s regime in two days, in a move condemned by the United States and its allies in flagrant violation of multiple UN resolutions.
The ICBM was launched from the Sunan area of North Korea’s capital Pyongyang at around 10:15 a.m. local time and flew about 1,000 kilometers (621 miles) to the east, South Korea’s chief of the Joint Chiefs of Staff (JCS) said.
It likely went down in Japan’s exclusive economic zone (EEZ) about 210 kilometers (130 miles) west of Japan’s Oshima island, Prime Minister Fumio Kishida said, according to the Japanese Coast Guard. It did not fly over Japan.
“North Korea continues to take provocative actions that have never been seen before,” Kishida told reporters at the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) summit in Bangkok, Thailand, on Friday.
“I want to say again 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. Kishida added: So far, there have been no reports of damage to vessels in the sea.
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 officials in South Korea and the United States.
On Friday morning, US Vice President Kamala Harris joined the leaders of Japan, South Korea, Australia, New Zealand and Canada on the sidelines of the APEC summit to condemn the launch in an unscheduled press conference.
“I have asked this group of allies and partners to join us in condemning North Korea’s long-range ballistic missile launch,” he said. I have also asked them to join so that we, as allies and partners, can discuss next steps. This recent behavior of North Korea is a brazen violation of numerous UN security resolutions. It destabilizes the security in the region and unnecessarily increases tensions.”
South Korean President Yoon Suk-yeol also ordered the “active execution” of massive deterrence measures against North Korea on Friday.
The president said Seoul will strengthen its alliance with Washington and strengthen its defense posture and security cooperation with the United States and Japan.
“The government will not tolerate North Korean provocations,” his office said in a statement. “The government has the ability to respond and is very willing to react immediately to any North Korean provocations, so North Korea should not misjudge this.”
The statement went on to say that North Korea has nothing to gain through continued provocations, while warning that sanctions against North Korea will only strengthen, further isolating Pyongyang internationally.
According to North Korea’s Korean Central News Agency (KCNA), Friday’s missile was about 100 times shorter in height and distance than Pyongyang’s March 24 missile test, which marked the highest altitude and longest duration of North Korea’s missile test to date. It was a short kilometer. Time. According to KCNA, the missile reached an altitude of 6,248.5 kilometers (3,905 miles) and traveled a distance of 1,090 kilometers (681 miles).
Calling the launch a “significant provocation and a serious act of intimidation,” the JCS warned the North in violation of a UN Security Council resolution and called for it to stop immediately.
Misawa Air Base issued a shelter-in-place alert after the missile was fired, according to US Air Force Col. Greg Hignett, director of public affairs for US Forces Japan. It has now been removed and the US military is still analyzing the flight path, he said.
President Joe Biden has been informed of 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 Friday.
“The door is not closed on diplomacy, but Pyongyang must immediately stop its destabilizing actions and instead opt for diplomatic engagement,” Watson said. The United States will take all necessary measures to ensure the security of the American homeland and the Republic of Korea and its Japanese allies.
Friday’s launch came a day after Pyongyang fired a short-range ballistic missile into waters off the east coast of the Korean peninsula, warning the United States of a “stronger military confrontation” to strengthen its defense ties with Korea. South issued. and Japan
A South Korean government source told CNN at the time that it was the second suspected test launch of an ICBM this month — a previous missile fired on Nov. 3 appeared to have failed.
The aggressive pace of weapons testing and rhetoric has raised alarm bells in the region, with the United States, South Korea and Japan responding with missile launches and joint military exercises.
Leif-Erik Easley, an associate professor of international studies at Oha Women’s University in Seoul, said North Korea is “trying to disrupt international cooperation against it by escalating military tensions and suggesting that it has the ability to hold American cities at risk.” There is a risk of a nuclear attack.
By CNN’s count, North Korea has conducted missile tests on 34 days this year, sometimes firing multiple missiles in a single day. This statistic includes cruise and ballistic missiles, which make up the most North Korean tests this year.
There are fundamental differences between these two types of missiles.
A ballistic missile is launched with a rocket and travels out of the Earth’s atmosphere, orbiting in space before re-entering the atmosphere and landing, moving towards its target using only gravity.
A cruise missile is powered by a jet engine, remains in the Earth’s atmosphere during its flight, and can be maneuvered with control surfaces similar to those of an airplane.
Ankit Panda, a senior fellow in the nuclear policy program at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, said that while he did not see Friday’s supposed ICBM launch as “a message in itself,” it could be seen as part of North Korea’s “process.” Capabilities that Kim has deemed necessary to modernize their nuclear forces.”
US and international monitors have warned for months that North Korea appears to be preparing for an underground nuclear test, with satellite images showing activity at the nuclear test site. Such a test will be the first test of this country in the last five years.
Jeffrey Lewis, director of the East Asia Nonproliferation Program at the Center for Nonproliferation Studies, said the ICBM test was designed to validate part of North Korea’s missile program, something Kim Jong Un has promised to do this year.
Lewis said the recent short-range tests were “exercises for front-line artillery units practicing preemptive nuclear strikes.”
He denied any political or negotiating message from these tests.
“I don’t think about these tests as a signal primarily. North Korea is not interested in talking right now,” Lewis said.