South Korea’s Joint Chiefs of Staff said the long-range missile was fired at around 5.22 p.m. Saturday from an area near Pyongyang’s international airport, where North Korea has tested most of its recent intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBMs). Tested.
Japanese officials said the missile flew about 900 km before splashing down in the sea. Japanwest coast of
There were no immediate reports of damage to ships or aircraft, but the missile could be one of North Korea’s biggest missiles, Reuters reported.
According to Japan’s Defense Minister Yasukazu Hamada, the missile had a range of 14,000 km – enough to reach the continental US.
The ballistic missile launch comes a day after the US and South Korea teamed up for annual joint military exercises to counter North Korea’s nuclear and missile threats, threatening an “unprecedentedly persistent, strong” response.
After unprecedented missile tests in 2022, North Korea fired a ballistic missile for the first time this year.
Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida condemned the missile launch, calling it “an act of violence that provokes international order”.
The Associated Press reported that Mr. Kishida said Tokyo is communicating closely with Washington and Seoul over the launch.
While the United Nations has imposed sanctions on North Korea Ballistic Missile and Nuclear Weapons DevelopmentPyongyang has said its weapons program is necessary to counter “hostile policies” by the US and its allies.
Experts said some of these new missiles could include a new system linked to North Korea’s reported desire to acquire solid-fuel ICBMs.
While North Korea’s current ICBMs use liquid propellant and cannot remain fueled for long periods of time, a solid-fuel option would be easier to move around on vehicles that would be less likely to be seen.
State media footage from a military parade in Pyongyang last week suggested that North Korea has more ICBMs than ever before, and that the country may even have formed a separate military unit to operate its new ICBMs.
However, it was not clear whether the missile launched on Saturday was a solid fueled ICBM or not.
South Korea condemned the North in response to the missile launch and said it would continue to cooperate with the US against threats and provocations from its neighbour.
As part of a joint exercise to counter missile threats, South Korea and the US also plan field exercises, including live fire drills, in the coming weeks and months.