North Korea launches an ICBM that crashes off Japan
North Korea on Friday launched an ICBM, the latest in a record string of missile launches in recent weeks, according to the South Korean military, as Seoul and Washington expect Pyongyang to prepare for an upcoming nuclear test.
And South Korea’s General Staff said it had “detected a suspected long-range ballistic missile fired from the Sunan area of Pyongyang at around 10:15 a.m. (01:15 GMT) toward the East Sea.”
Tokyo, for its part, stated that the missile had traveled a distance of a thousand kilometers and that Japan had not attempted to destroy it in flight. Japanese Defense Minister Yasukazu Hamada said that the missile reached a maximum altitude of 6,000 km and concluded that it was an ICBM ballistic missile (ICBM).ICBMIt is one of the most powerful weapons in North Korea’s arsenal.
Likewise, Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida said, “The ballistic missile launched by North Korea appears to have fallen into our Exclusive Economic Zone in western Hokkaido,” describing that missile launch as “completely unacceptable.”
A few hours later, the Japanese Ministry of Defense announced that it had held joint military exercises with the United States immediately after the missile launch.
The ministry said in a statement that these maneuvers “reaffirm the firm will of Japan and the United States to respond to any situation, and also strengthen the deterrence and response capability of the Japan-US alliance.”
The United States condemned the missile launch “in the strongest possible terms,” saying it “flagrantly violates numerous UN Security Council resolutions and unnecessarily increases tensions and risks destabilizing the security situation in the region.”
In Bangkok, where the Asia-Pacific Economic Forum (APEC) summit is taking place, US Vice President Kamala Harris met the leaders of Japan, South Korea, Australia, New Zealand and Canada.
“On behalf of the United States, I reaffirm our unwavering commitment to our alliances in the Indo-Pacific region,” she said.
On the Canadian side, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau described the rocket launch as “reckless”. “This is totally unacceptable and cannot continue,” he told reporters.
A French Foreign Ministry spokeswoman confirmed that the North Korean missile launch “requires a determined and unified response from the international community.”
“This renewed violation of UN Security Council resolutions prohibiting North Korea from conducting any type of launch using ballistic techniques,” it said in a statement. “This is a new provocation. It poses a serious threat to regional stability and the… international security.”
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