North Korea maintains missile barrage with intercontinental ballistic missile

North Korea added to its barrage of recent weapons tests on Thursday, firing at least three missiles, including an intercontinental ballistic missile that forced the Japanese government to issue evacuation alerts and temporarily halt trains.

The launches are the latest in a series of North Korean weapons tests in recent months that have heightened tensions in the region. They came a day after Pyongyang fired more than 20 missilesthe most he had ever shot in a single day.

South Korea’s Joint Chiefs of Staff said it detected the North firing an ICBM from an area near its capital Pyongyang around 7:40 a.m., then firing two short-range missiles an hour later from the nearby town of Kacheon which flown to its eastern waters.

The longer-range missile was fired at a high angle, apparently to avoid reaching neighbors’ territory, reaching a maximum altitude of 1,920 kilometers (1,193 miles) and traveling around 760 kilometers (472 miles), according to the South Korean army.

It was not immediately clear if the launch was successful.

Launch of a North Korean missile
People watch a TV screen showing a news broadcast with archival footage of a North Korean missile test, at a train station in Seoul, South Korea, November 2, 2022.

JUNG YEON-JE/AFP/Getty Images


Japanese Defense Minister Yasukazu Hamada announced similar flight details, but said his military lost track of the weapon after it “disappeared” in the sky over the waters between the Korean peninsula and Japan.

On October 4, North Korea fired a ballistic missile at Japan for the first time in five years.

Choi Yong Soo, a South Korean navy captain who handles public affairs at Seoul’s Defense Ministry, did not respond directly when asked if the military believed the launch might have failed. with the missile exploding in the air, saying the test was still being analyzed.

Citing unnamed military sources, South Korea’s Yonhap news agency reported that the missile may have failed to maintain normal flight after a stage separation.

The Japanese government initially feared that the ICBM would fly over its northern territory, but later revised its assessment, saying there were no overflights.

Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida’s office broadcast alerts via television, radio, cellphones and public loudspeakers to residents of northern Miyagi, Yamagata and Niigata prefectures, ordering them to go inside company buildings or underground.

No damage or injuries were reported in the areas where the alerts were issued. High-speed train services in these areas have been temporarily suspended following the missile warning before resuming shortly. Kishida condemned the launches from the North and said officials were analyzing details of the weapons.

South Korean President Yoon Suk Yeol’s office said its director of national security, Kim Sung-han, discussed the launches during an emergency security meeting where members discussed plans aimed at strengthening the country’s defense in conjunction with its alliance with the United States.

The office said South Korea would maintain its combined military exercises with the United States in response to North Korea’s increased testing activities, which it said would only deepen the international isolation of the country. North and trigger a new economic shock on its people.

One of more than 20 North Korean missiles fired on Wednesday flew towards a populated South Korean island and landed near the rivals’ tense sea border, setting off air raid sirens and forcing residents of the Ulleung Island to evacuate. South Korea quickly responded by launching its own missiles into the same border area.

The launches came hours after North Korea threatened to use nuclear weapons to get the United States and South Korea to “pay the most horrible price in history” in protest against ongoing South Korean-American military exercises which they see as a rehearsal of a possible invasion.

In a statement on Wednesday evening, a spokesperson for the US State Department condemned the launch, calling it “a clear violation of multiple United Nations Security Council resolutions”.

“This action underscores the need for all countries to fully implement the UN Security Council resolutions relating to the DPRK, which seek to prohibit the DPRK from acquiring the technologies and materials needed to carry out these tests. destabilizers,” the statement read.

In September, North Korea’s parliament unveiled a new “first use” doctrine in which Pyongyang could launch a preemptive nuclear strike. This has raised concern from regional allies of the United States, Japan and South Korea. The two Koreas are technically still in a state of war, and Seoul is relying on the United States for protection.

The latest attempt at diplomacy under the Trump administration fell apart after a high-profile summit between President Trump and Kim in Hanoi, Vietnam in February 2019. As the two leaders celebrated their personal relationship, no deal was reached. been negotiated and North Korea’s nuclear development continued. Outreach to the Biden administration has also been insufficient.

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