The United States and its allies have condemned North Korea‘s launch of an intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) on Friday as a “brazen violation” of United Nations resolutions. This is the regime’s second missile test in as many days.
At approximately 10:15 a.m. local time, the ICBM was launched from the Sunan area of the North Korean capital Pyongyang, according to South Korea‘s Joint Chiefs of Staff (JCS). It reportedly went approximately 1,000 kilometers (621 miles) east.
According to the Japan Coast Guard, it was located around 210 kilometers (130 miles) west of the Japanese island of Oshima Oshima, which would place it within Japan’s exclusive economic zone (EEZ). Over Japan, it avoided going.
Kishida told reporters on the sidelines of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) meeting in Bangkok, Thailand on Friday that “North Korea is continuing to carry out provocative activities at a frequency never seen before.”
We cannot tolerate such behavior,” he repeated. He assured the public that Japan’s government will keep gathering data, conducting analyses, and releasing timely updates. Kishida noted that there had been no reports of damage to ships at sea.
The JCS said that the ICBM traveled approximately 6,100 kilometers (3,790 miles) in altitude at Mach 22 or 22 times the speed of sound and that intelligence authorities in South Korea and the United States were analyzing the data.
On Friday morning, US Vice President Kamala Harris held an unannounced media event on the sidelines of the APEC meeting with the presidents of Japan, South Korea, Australia, New Zealand, and Canada to criticize the launch.
To denounce the long-range ballistic missile test by North Korea, she stated, “I have invited this collection of allies and partners to come together to join us.” I’ve invited them as well, so that we may discuss what to do next as friends and partners.
In its recent actions, North Korea has flagrantly disregarded numerous resolutions passed by the United Nations Security Council. Security in the region is undermined, and tensions are ratcheted up unnecessarily.
On Friday, South Korean President Yoon Suk Yeol ordered the “active execution” of bolstered extended deterrent measures against North Korea. The President has pledged that South Korea will increase its defense capabilities and security ties with the United States and Japan.
‘The government will not tolerate North Korea’s provocations,’ his office stated in a statement. North Korea should not underestimate this, as the administration “has overwhelming response capabilities and is willing to promptly react to any North Korean provocations.”
It warned that North Korea would benefit nothing from its continued provocations and that the international community will respond by increasing its sanctions against Pyongyang.
Testing Missile Range
According to a report from the Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) at the time, Pyongyang’s missile test on March 24 recorded the highest height and longest duration of any North Korean missile ever tested, and Friday’s missile fell roughly 100 kilometers shy of those numbers.
According to KCNA, the missile traveled 1,090 kilometers (681 miles) and reached an altitude of 6,248.5 kilometers (3,905 miles). The JCS has informed North Korea that it is in violation of a resolution passed by the United Nations Security Council by carrying out the launch and has demanded that it cease immediately.
According to US Air Force Col. Greg Hignite, director of public affairs for US Forces Japan, the Misawa Air Base issued a shelter-in-place alert after the missile was fired. U.S. military analysis of the flight path has continued, but the warning has been withdrawn, he added.
Joe Biden, the vice president of the United States, has been briefed on the missile launch, and the National Security Council will “maintain close engagements with Allies and partners,” according to a statement released on Friday by National Security Council spokesman Adrienne Watson.
As Watson put it, “the door has not closed on diplomacy,” but Pyongyang must immediately cease its disruptive acts and instead chose diplomatic engagement. To protect the safety of its citizens and its friends in the Republic of Korea and Japan, the United States will do whatever it takes.
After threatening the United States with a “fiercer military counteraction” for strengthening its defense relations with South Korea and Japan, Pyongyang fired a short-range ballistic missile into the waters off the east coast of the Korean Peninsula on Thursday.
It’s the second suspected test launch of an ICBM this month — an earlier missile fired on November 3 believed to have failed, a South Korean government source told CNN at the time.
Increased Missile Tests
The United States, South Korea, and Japan have all responded to North Korea’s rapid acceleration of weapons testing and rhetoric with missile launches and joint military drills.
North Korea is “trying to disrupt international cooperation against it by escalating military tensions and suggesting it has the capability of holding American cities at risk of a nuclear attack,” according to Leif-Eric Easley, associate professor of International Studies at Ewha Woman’s University in Seoul.
According to a CNN tally, North Korea has conducted missile tests on 34 separate occasions this year, often launching multiple missiles in a single day. Both cruise missiles and ballistic missiles are counted, with the latter making up the vast majority of North Korea’s missile tests this year.
These two varieties of missiles couldn’t be more unlike. After being propelled into space by a rocket, a ballistic missile returns to Earth’s atmosphere and glides to its intended destination, where it is accelerated to its final destination only by the force of gravity.
A cruise missile is a type of missile that is propelled by a jet engine, remains within Earth’s atmosphere during flight, and may be maneuvered with control surfaces similar to those of an airplane.
Even though senior fellow in the Nuclear Policy Program at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace Ankit Panda wouldn’t interpret North Korea’s presumed ICBM launch on Friday “as a message, per se,” he does believe it is part of the “process of developing capabilities Kim has identified as essential for the modernization of their nuclear forces.”
Satellite footage has shown activity at the nuclear test site, confirming months of warnings from the United States and foreign observers that North Korea looks to be preparing for an underground nuclear test. It has been five years since the reclusive nation last had to undergo such a test.
According to the Center for Non-proliferation Studies’ director of the East Asia Nonproliferation Program, Jeffrey Lewis, Kim Jong Un has promised to validate elements of North Korea’s missile program this year, and the ICBM launch was planned to do just that.
Recent short-range tests “are training for frontline artillery troops practicing preemptive nuclear strikes,” Lewis added. He disregarded the possibility that the results might have any bearing on politics or negotiations.
You shouldn’t view these examinations as primarily signalling, in my opinion. The North Koreans aren’t interested in talking right now,” Lewis said.
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