North Korea launches intercontinental ballistic missile forward of South Korea-Japan summit


North Korea test-launched an intercontinental ballistic missile in a show of army would possibly Thursday, simply hours earlier than the leaders of South Korea and Japan have been to satisfy at a Tokyo summit anticipated to be overshadowed by North Korean nuclear threats.

The launch, the North’s first ICBM take a look at in a month and third weapons testing this week, additionally comes as South Korean and U.S. troops proceed joint army workout routines that Pyongyang considers a rehearsal to invade.

South Korea’s army mentioned the North Korean ICBM flew towards the Korean Peninsula’s japanese waters after being launched from North Korea’s capital, Pyongyang, round 7:10 a.m. The assertion mentioned South Korea’s army is sustaining readiness in shut coordination with the US.

United States Indo-Pacific Command mentioned in a press release that the launch “doesn’t pose a right away risk to U.S. personnel, or territory, or to our allies.”

“The U.S. commitments to the protection of the ROK and Japan, stay ironclad,” the assertion learn. 

North Korea missile launch
Individuals sit close to a tv displaying a information broadcast with file footage of a North Korean missile take a look at, at a railway station in Seoul, South Korea, on March 16, 2023.

ANTHONY WALLACE/AFP through Getty Photos

Nationwide Safety Council spokesperson Adrienne Watson mentioned in a press release offered to CBS Information that the U.S. “strongly condemns” the missile take a look at, calling it a “flagrant violation of a number of UN Safety Council resolutions.”

“It solely demonstrates that the DPRK continues to prioritize its illegal weapons of mass destruction and ballistic missile applications over the well-being of its individuals,” Watson mentioned. 

The Sunan neighborhood is the positioning of Pyongyang’s worldwide airport and has emerged as a serious testing web site the place the North launched most of its ICBMs lately, all flown on a excessive angle to keep away from the territory of neighbors.

Japanese Protection Minister Yasukazu Hamada mentioned the missile possible landed within the waters exterior Japan’s unique financial zone after about an hour-long flight. The touchdown web site is about 250 kilometers (155 miles) off the western island of Oshimaoshima, which is near the place different North Korean ICBMs fell in current months after test-flights.

Thursday’s launch got here hours earlier than South Korean President Yoon Suk Yeol was to journey to Tokyo for a summit with Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida aimed toward mending frayed ties and solidifying a trilateral safety cooperation with the US to counter North Korean threats.

After conducting a document variety of missile assessments final 12 months, North Korea has prolonged its testing actions this 12 months, together with the Feb. 18 launch of its Hwasong-15 ICBM that’s designed to strike the U.S. mainland. After that ICBM launch, North Korea mentioned the take a look at was meant to additional bolster its “deadly” nuclear assault capability in opposition to its rivals.

The North’s ongoing aggressive run of weapons assessments has been broadly anticipated; chief Kim Jong Un final week ordered his army to be able to repel what he known as “frantic struggle preparations strikes” by his nation’s rivals, referring to massive ongoing drills between the U.S. and South Korea.

Pyongyang earlier this week fired cruise missiles from a submarine and despatched short-range ballistic missiles throughout its territory into its japanese sea. Final week, North Korea additionally fired no less than six short-range ballistic missiles from a western coastal space in an train supervised by Kim Jong Un, an occasion state media described as a simulated assault on an unspecified South Korean airfield.

The U.S.-South Korean drills that started Monday and are scheduled to proceed till March 23 embrace pc simulations and live-fire area workout routines.

Final 12 months, Pyongyang test-fired greater than 70 missiles, together with nuclear-capable ones that focus on South Korea, Japan and the U.S. mainland. North Korea mentioned lots of these assessments have been a warning over earlier South Korean-U.S. army drills.

The South Korea-Japan summit was organized after Yoon’s authorities final week took a serious step towards repairing bilateral ties strained by Japan’s 1910-45 colonial rule of the Korean Peninsula.

His plan – to make use of native funds to compensate Koreans compelled into industrial slave labor throughout the colonial rule with out contributions from Japanese corporations that employed them – has met fierce home opposition however displays Yoon’s resolve to enhance ties with Japan and increase Seoul-Tokyo-Washington safety cooperation.

Beneath Kishida, Tokyo has additionally made a serious break from its post-World Warfare II precept of self-defense solely, adopting a brand new nationwide safety technique in December that features the objectives of buying preemptive strike capabilities and cruise missiles to counter rising threats from North Korea, China and Russia.

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