South Korea and Japan have announced the launch of an intercontinental ballistic missile. According to Japan’s defense minister, the missile had the capability to reach all US landmasses.
The United States quickly condemned the launch and vowed to take “all necessary measures” to ensure the security of its territory and allies South Korea and Japan.
Vice President Kamala Harris called Friday’s launch of a regional APEC summit in Bangkok, Thailand, a “flagrant violation of multiple UN security resolutions” that “destabilizes security in the region and unnecessarily raises tensions. We strongly condemn these actions, and we reiterate our call for North Korea and the United States to end their illegal and destabilizing activities.” On behalf, I reaffirm our ironclad commitment to our Indo-Pacific alliances.
“Together, the nations represented here will continue to urge North Korea to commit to serious and sustained diplomacy,” she continued.
On Friday, the South Korean military said its F-35 fighter jets conducted exercises simulating air strikes on North Korean mobile missile launchers. The drill was held at the firing range along the northern border. Eight South Korean and US fighter jets conducted separate flight training off the east coast of the Korean Peninsula, South Korea’s Joint Chiefs of Staff said.
“The exercises demonstrated our strong resolve to deal sternly with an ICBM launch and any other provocations and threats posed by North Korea, and the overwhelming capability and willingness of allies to launch precision strikes on the enemy,” the joint chiefs said. statement
On the other hand, Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov was quoted by the state-run RIA Novosti news agency as saying that Moscow prefers a diplomatic approach to the Korean peninsula. The United States and its allies in the region prefer a different path. It seems to be testing Pyongyang’s patience. Agence France-Presse reported on Moscow’s response.
of PyongyangThe launches come as China and Russia resist U.S. moves to tighten sanctions aimed at curbing the North’s nuclear program, as it seeks to advance its nuclear arsenal and ultimately win more diplomatic concessions.
South Korea’s Joint Chiefs of Staff said it detected an ICBM launch from North Korea’s capital region around 10:15 a.m. and that the weapon flew across the country toward the northeast coast. Japan said the ICBM flew over a high trajectory and landed west of Hokkaido.
According to South Korean and Japanese estimates, the North Korean missile flew 3,600-3,790 miles with a maximum altitude of 620 miles.
Japanese Defense Minister Yasukazu Hamada told reporters that the altitude indicated that the missile was launched from a high angle. Depending on the weight of a warhead mounted on the missile, the weapon could exceed 9,320 miles, “so it could cover the entire United States.”
US National Security Council spokesman Adrian Watson said the launch “unnecessarily raises tensions and destabilizes regional security”, while also prioritizing the North’s illegal weapons programs over the well-being of its people. She said President Biden was briefed on the launch.
“Pyongyang must immediately end its destabilizing measures and opt for diplomatic engagement instead,” Watson said.
Japanese Defense Minister Hamada called the launch a “reckless act that threatens Japan, the region and the international community”.
South Korea’s Joint Chiefs of Staff described the launch as a “serious provocation and grave threat” that undermines international and regional peace and security. It said South Korea maintains its readiness to issue a “severe response to any North Korean provocation” amid close coordination with the United States.
After being briefed on the launch, South Korean President Yoon Suk-yeol ordered officials to increase security cooperation with the United States and Japan and implement vague countermeasures previously agreed to with the US. His office said Yoon ordered officials to impose strong international condemnation and sanctions against North Korea.
And North KoreaBut experts said the weapon failed to fly the intended route and fell into the ocean after a phase separation. That test was believed to have involved a developmental ICBM called the Hwasong-17.
North Korea has two other types of ICBMs — the Hwasong-14 and the Hwasong-15 — and their test launches in 2017 demonstrated that they can reach parts of the US homeland.
The Hwasong-17 has a longer range than the others, and its large size suggests it is designed to carry multiple nuclear warheads to defeat missile defense systems. Some experts say the Nov. 3 test showed some technological progress in the Hwasong-17’s development, and in its first test in March, the missile exploded shortly after liftoff.
It was not immediately known whether North Korea fired another Hwasong-17 missile on Friday or something else.
In recent months, North Korea has conducted dozens of short-range missile tests, so-called simulations of nuclear strikes on South Korean and US targets. But before that, the launch of weapons was stopped for a week.
Ahead of Thursday’s launch, the North’s Foreign Minister Cho Son-hui threatened to launch “severe” military responses to strengthen US security commitments to allies South Korea and Japan.
Cho was referring to Mr. Biden’s trilateral summit with Mr. Yoon and Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida on the sidelines of a regional conference in Cambodia. In their joint statement, the three leaders strongly condemned North Korea’s recent missile tests and agreed to work together to strengthen defenses. Mr Biden reiterated the US commitment to defend South Korea and Japan with the full range of capabilities, including its nuclear weapons.
Cho did not say what steps North Korea might take, but said “the US is well aware that it was a gamble, and it certainly regrets it.”
Pyongyang sees US military presence in the region as evidence of hostility towards North Korea. It said its recent series of weapons launches was a response to what it called provocative military exercises between the United States and South Korea.
North Korea has been subject to multiple United Nations sanctions over its past nuclear and missile tests. But no new sanctions have been imposed this year, although it has conducted dozens of ballistic missile launches, which are prohibited by UN Security Council resolutions.
That may be because China and Russia, the two veto-wielding members of the UN Council, have opposed the new UN sanctions. Washington is in strategic competition with Beijing and confrontation with Moscow.
There are concerns that North Korea may conduct its first nuclear test in five years, the next major step in strengthening its military capabilities against the United States and its allies.
In late October, US and South Korean officialsPyongyang is preparing to test a nuclear weapon soon, its first since 2017.
The North argued that the US military presence in the region was evidence of hostility towards the country. They said their recent series of weapons launches was a response to what they called provocative military exercises between the United States and South Korea.