North Korea launches another missile into the sea as it ramps up testing
North Korea has fired a short-range ballistic missile into the sea east of the Korean peninsula, the latest of several over the past week. after his neighbors.
The action was condemned as a provocation by the top nuclear officials in the USA, Japan and South Korea.
The missile’s range — it has traveled a distance of about 500 miles — suggests South Korea could be a target of the weapon.
The Japanese Ministry of Defense said it also flew about 30 miles high.
On Thursday, the North launched an ICBM into the Sea of Japan and later confirmed the weapon used was a Hwasong-17.
Known as the country’s “monster missile,” it is the world’s largest road-mobile liquid-fuelled ICBM.
It was tested just hours before South Korean President Yook Suk-yeol was scheduled to fly to Tokyo for talks with Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida.
Both united at the summit in part with the goal of rebuilding security ties between US allies in the face of North Korea’s nuclear threat.
State media quoted leader Kim Jong Un as saying Thursday’s launch was intended to “instill fear in the enemy.”
Testing activities are ramping up as the US and South Korea conduct the largest military exercises of their kind in years.
In response to the recent launch, the South said exercises would continue as it was ready to respond “overwhelmingly” to any provocation by North Korea.
The Biden administration wants better ties between South Korea and Japan, which have dwindled in recent years due to historic troubles, as it pushes to strengthen its alliance network in Asia to counter the nuclear threat posed by North Korea and increasing Chinese influence.
On Sunday, the US flew at least one long-range B-1B bomber for joint air training with South Korean fighter jets.
Deployment of the aircraft, which can carry an enormous payload of conventional weapons, has also previously been met with responsive missile test launches from the north.
Toshiro Ino, Japan’s deputy defense minister, said there were no reports of damage from Sunday’s test launch, as it landed outside the country’s exclusive economic zone.
However, he said the activity posed a “threat” to the security of Japan, the region and the international community and “absolutely cannot be tolerated.”
The missile likely showed an erratic trajectory, he said, which could be a reference to North Korea’s highly maneuverable, nuclear-weapons-capable KN-23 missile.
The US Indo-Pacific Command said the launch posed no immediate threat to American territory or its allies, but emphasized “the destabilizing effects of [North Korea’s] illegal weapons programs.
It added that US security commitments to South Korea and Japan remain “solid”.
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https://metro.co.uk/2023/03/19/north-korea-launches-another-missile-into-sea-as-it-ramps-up-testing-18466342/ North Korea launches another missile into the sea as it ramps up testing