Arrived about 210km west of Hokkaido. Tokyo: “Unacceptable, able to hit the US”
There North Korea has launched a suspected intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) into the Sea of Japan: according to the South Korean military. “As we strengthen our monitoring and vigilance, our military is maintaining a position of full readiness in close cooperation with the United States,” the Command said in a text message sent to Yonhap. The missile arrived about 210 km west of Hokkaido.
According to Kyodo News, the Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida strongly protested the launch and called Pyongyang’s provocations “unacceptable”. “North Korea is repeating the provocations at an unprecedented rate and they are totally unacceptable,” she said.
The Japanese defense minister stressed that the launched ICBM had sufficient range to hit the US mainland.
The missile flew about 1,000 kilometers in a “cantilever” trajectory and reached an altitude of 6,000 kilometers, Cabinet Secretary Hirokazu Matsuno said in Tokyo, Kyodo reported.
North Korean Foreign Minister Choe Son-hui warned yesterday that Pyongyang would take “fiercer” military action if the United States strengthened its security commitments to South Korea and Japan. Pyongyang then launched a short-range ballistic missile towards the Sea of Japan.
Earlier, South Korea held a “pre-planned” naval missile defense exercise with the United States, Yonhap said. The situation on the Korean peninsula is currently very tense. Nuclear-armed North Korea has conducted a series of missile tests in recent weeks. Observers fear that Pyongyang’s first nuclear test is imminent.
The United States has condemned North Korea for the test. “This launch is a blatant violation of multiple United Nations Security Council resolutions and needlessly escalates tensions and threatens to destabilize the security situation in the region,” the National Security Council (NSC) spokeswoman said in a statement. United States, Adrienne Watson. “This action demonstrates that [la Corea del Nord] continues to prioritize its illegal weapons of mass destruction and ballistic missile programs over the welfare of its people,” Watson said.
“The door has not closed on diplomacy, but Pyongyang must immediately cease its destabilizing actions and choose diplomatic engagement instead. The United States will take all necessary measures to ensure the security of the American homeland, the Republic of Korea and allies Japanese,” he added.
Watson said US President Joe Biden was briefed on the situation and Vice President Kamala Harris was “coordinating with our allies and partners in the region” as she attended the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) summit in Bangkok.
Missiles capable of traveling more than 5,500 kilometers are considered ICBMs, ie intercontinental missiles. United Nations resolutions prohibit North Korea from testing ballistic missiles of any range, some of which are capable of carrying a nuclear warhead.