North Korea fires a missile, the South condemns the “dangerous provocation”

SEOUL/TOKYO (Reuters) – North Korea fired what may be a new model of a ballistic missile on Thursday, South Korea said, sparking panic in northern Japan as residents were told to take cover, despite it being clear that it was not. There is no risk.

South Korea’s military said the missile flew 1,000 km, calling it a “serious provocation”.

The rocket’s peak, or maximum altitude, has not been officially disclosed, although South Korea’s Yonhap news agency said it appeared to be less than 3,000km — far less than the altitude of some tests last year, which were over 6,000km.

South Korea’s military said it was on high alert and coordinating closely with its main ally the United States, which “strongly condemned” what the White House said in a statement was a long-range ballistic missile test.

A South Korean military official said the test appeared to include a new weapon system shown off at North Korea’s recent military parades.

The military was analyzing the projectile’s trajectory and range, and the Defense Department said it was probably a solid-propellant missile.

North Korea is building more solid-fuel missiles, which are easier to store and transport, and can be launched with almost no warning or preparation time.

Bruce Bennett, a senior defense analyst at the US-based RAND Corporation, said that while North Korea has tested short-range solid-fuel missiles, it has not tested a long-range missile of this type.

South Korea’s Joint Chiefs of Staff said the missile was launched at 7:23 a.m. (2223 GMT Wednesday) from near Pyongyang, meaning it could have been launched from an international airport near the capital, a major site for a major test-fire. . Rockets since 2017.

See also  Why did the US reject Poland's plan to send fighter planes to Ukraine

Kim Dong-yup, a former South Korean naval officer who teaches at Kyungnam University’s Far East Institute, said the missile was probably an ICBM unveiled at a military parade in February, powered by a solid-fuel engine tested in December. .

Short panic

The nuclear envoys of South Korea’s allies, the United States and Japan spoke out and condemned the launch, saying North Korea had consistently threatened regional peace with “unprecedented levels of provocations and horrific words,” the South Korean foreign ministry said.

Japan called a meeting of the National Security Council in response to the launch. Its defense minister, Yasukazu Hamada, said the missile appeared to have been fired eastward from a high angle and did not fall on Japanese territory.

The Japanese Coast Guard said the projectile fell into the sea east of North Korea. Hamada said he could not confirm whether the missile flew over Japan’s exclusive economic zone.

Japanese authorities backed off the alert for Hokkaido when they decided the missile would not land nearby.

NHK reported that schools in Hokkaido have delayed their opening times and some train services have been suspended.

A student there said the alarm caused a temporary alarm at a train station.

One student told NHK: “There was a moment of panic on the train, but one of the station staff said to calm down, and people did.”

The launch came days after North Korean leader Kim Jong Un called for strengthening deterrence of war in a “more practical and offensive” way to counter what North Korea described as aggressive steps by the United States.

See also  Police violently raid University of Lima and shut down Machu Picchu amid Peruvian unrest | Peru

And the United States, while condemning North Korea’s latest missile tests, renewed its offer to open talks.

“The door to diplomacy has not been closed, but Pyongyang must immediately cease its destabilizing actions and instead opt for diplomatic engagement,” said Adrienne Watson, a spokeswoman for the US National Security Council, in a statement.

North Korea has criticized recent joint military exercises between US and South Korean forces as an escalation of tensions, and has stepped up its weapons tests in recent months.

Additional reporting by Hyunsoo Yim, Jo Min Park, and Soo Hyang Choi in Seoul, and Chang Ran Kim in Tokyo; Written by Jerry Doyle. Editing by Muralikumar Anantharaman, Neil Vollick, and William Mallard

Our standards: Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *