North Korea fired an “unidentified missile” on Thursday. Says the South Korean military. Pyongyang has been launching continuously since the beginning of the year. The Japanese Defense Ministry said the bomber struck shortly after noon in front of a Japanese military base. Japanese authorities consider it an intercontinental ballistic missile. The United Nations has strongly condemned the missile test.
AFP, DPA, Reuters, Belgium
“North Korea fired an unidentified missile eastward,” South Korean officials said in a statement. South Korea also believes it is an intercontinental ballistic missile. In response, the South Korean military said it had fired Seoul missiles from land, sea and air.
The rocket flew for 71 minutes and ended up in the sea about 150 kilometers off the Oshima Peninsula, south of the island of Hokkaido. According to Japanese Defense Ministry number two Makoto Oniki, the missile flew at an altitude of more than 6,000 kilometers. This is more than the intercontinental ballistic missile launched by North Korea in November 2017.
Since the beginning of this year, Pyongyang has already conducted more than a dozen weapons tests. Two described the launch as a “spy satellite” by North Korea, but South Korea and the United States said they were also testing intercontinental ballistic missiles.
North Korea bans missile test under UN resolution Pyongyang has been developing nuclear-capable missiles for many years. So tough international sanctions are in place against the North Korean regime.
Pyongyang has ruled out any talks since talks between North Korean leader Kim Jong-un and then-US President Donald Trump failed in 2019.
Washington condemns missile test, Kremlin wants to avoid rising tensions
The U.S. government has condemned North Korea’s intercontinental ballistic missile test. Russia, on the other hand, has stressed the need to avoid tensions.
According to Washington, missile launching is one of the many UN missions. This is another violation of Security Council resolutions, which unnecessarily exacerbates tensions and destabilizes the security situation in the region. White House spokeswoman Jen Zhaki said Thursday.
Diplomacy is still possible, but North Korea must immediately end its instability. “This move shows that North Korea is prioritizing weapons of mass destruction and ballistic missile programs over the well-being of its people,” Zaki said.
The Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said Russia was monitoring North Korea’s launches. “Our military is definitely monitoring such launches,” he told the Russian state news agency Tass. “It is important that the area does not become a hotbed of tension,” he said.
UN: “Stop provoking tensions”
The United Nations has condemned North Korea’s new missile test and called for an immediate halt to all “counter-production” activities that could trigger “tensions” in Asia, General Secretary Antonio Guterres’ spokesman Stephen Dujarric said in a statement.
The ambassadors told AFP that the Security Council would meet on Friday to discuss the matter.
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