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North Korea tests long-range missile

2022 Mar 24, 14:34, North Korea

North Korea fired a suspected long-range missile toward the sea Thursday in what would be its first such test since 2017, according to its neighbors’ militaries, raising the ante in a pressure campaign aimed at forcing the United States and other rivals to accept it as nuclear power and remove crippling sanctions.

The launch, which extended North Korea’s barrage of weapons tests this year, came after the U.S. and South Korean militaries said the country was preparing a flight of its biggest-yet intercontinental ballistic missile.

South Korea’s Joint Chiefs of Staff didn’t immediately say whether the weapon involved in the launch was ballistic or how far it flew. But Japan’s Deputy Defense Minister Makoto Oniki said the missile, which travelled 1,100 kilometers (660 miles) while reaching a maximum altitude of over 6,000 kilometers (3,728 miles), likely was a new ICBM. The flight details suggested that the missile was fired on a higher-than-usual angle to avoid reaching the territorial waters of Japan.

Japan’s coast guard, which warned vessels in nearby waters about the potential for falling objects, said it believed the missile flew about an hour before landing in waters outside the country’s exclusive economic zone. There were no immediate reports of damage to boats or aircraft.

South Korean President Moon Jae-in called an emergency National Security Council meeting where he criticized North Korean leader Kim Jong Un for breaking a self-imposed moratorium on ICBM tests and posing a “serious threat” to the region and the broader international community. Moon instructed officials to pursue “all possible response measures” based on its alliance with the United States and cooperation with other international partners, his office said.

“Even when the international community is responding to the Russian invasion of Ukraine, North Korea has been forcing its missile launches, which could one-sidedly escalate provocations,” Oniki said.

Following a highly provocative streak in nuclear explosives and ICBM tests in 2017, Kim unilaterally suspended such testing in 2018 ahead of his first meeting with then-U.S. President Donald Trump.

North Korea’s slew of weapons tests reflects a determination to cement its status as nuclear power and wrest badly needed economic concessions from Washington and others from a position of strength, analysts say.


North Korea long-range missile sea militaries Nuclear Power ballistic missile Japan National Security Council United States Russian Ukraine Washington
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