An unidentified long-range ballistic missile has been launched from North Korea towards the Sea of Japan. This was confirmed by the South Korean army, underlining that the missile has an intercontinental range. The new launch comes days after Pyongyang’s threat to shoot down US spy planes violating its airspace. The launch also coincides with South Korean President Yoon Suk-yeol’s attendance at the NATO summit in Vilnius, Lithuania, with which Seoul has just expanded its cooperation framework.
The launch of the missile
The South Korean General Staff communicated that it had “detected the launch of what is believed to be a long-range ballistic missile towards the East Sea from the Pionyang area at 10 am today”, 3 am Italian time. Japanese authorities, who had already foreseen the possibility that it was an ICBM, said the rocket landed in waters outside Japan’s exclusive economic zone around 11:15 local time (4:15 GMT). The last time North Korea launched an ICBM was on April 13 when it launched a Hwasong-18, its first long-range ballistic missile that uses solid fuel, which is more efficient than liquid.
Japan: “United Nations resolutions violated”
The latest North Korean test “violates United Nations resolutions”, the Japanese government said, which also sent its “strong protest” to North Korea through its embassy in Beijing. According to Japanese government spokesman Hirokazu Matsuno at a press conference today, Tokyo “will adopt response measures by strengthening cooperation with South Korea, the United States and the United Nations Security Council”.