Japan has issued a rare warning after North Korea fired a missile at an island without warning


Seoul, South Korea
CNN

Japan Residents were urged to shelter in place early Tuesday morning North Korea Kim Jong Un’s regime launched a ballistic missile without warning over the country for the first time in five years, in a major and dangerous escalation of recent weapons tests.

The missile, which prompted an immediate backlash from Tokyo and Seoul, comes amid five missile tests in the past 10 days. Updated military exercises between the United States and its regional allies.

Intercontinental ballistic missile launched at 7:23 a.m. local time from Mupyeong-ri, near North Korea’s central border with China, according to South Korea’s Joint Chiefs of Staff (JCS). It flew about 4,600 kilometers (2,858 miles) for 20 minutes. It reached a maximum height of 1,000 kilometers (621 miles) over Japan’s Tohoku region on the main island of Honshu before falling into the Pacific Ocean, about 3,000 kilometers (1,864 miles) from the country’s shore, Japanese officials said.

Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida strongly condemned the launch, calling North Korea’s latest ballistic missile launches “absurd” in comments to reporters at his official residence.

Tuesday’s launch was the country’s 23rd missile test this year, including ballistic and cruise missiles.

According to Japanese officials, there were no reports of damage to aircraft or ships near the missile’s path, but the undeclared missile fired. A Rare J-Alert is a system designed to inform the public of emergencies and threats in Japan.

In such emergencies, alerts are sent via sirens, community radio stations and to individual smartphone users. According to Japanese authorities, warnings were sent to people in Aomori Prefecture, Hokkaido and Tokyo’s Izu and Ogasawara islands at around 7:30 a.m. local time on Tuesday.

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A tweet from Japan’s Prime Minister’s Office urged residents to take shelter in buildings, “not approach anything suspicious, and contact the police or fire department immediately.”

Other governments, including South Korean President Yoon Suk-yeol, immediately denied the launch Labeling it an “irresponsible” provocation, North Korea said it would face a decisive response from the South Korean military and its allies.

The White House also “strongly condemned” the test, with National Security Council spokesman Adrian Watson calling it an “unrelenting” move that showed North Korea’s “blatant disregard for United Nations Security Council resolutions and international security norms.”

Kim Seung-kyum, chairman of South Korea’s Joint Chiefs of Staff (JCS), and Paul LaCamera, commander of US Forces Korea, held a meeting after the launch to reaffirm the joint defense posture. North Korea, JCS

The U.S. Indo-Pacific Command issued a statement saying that U.S. commitments to the defense of Japan and South Korea “will be ironclad.”

Ankit Panda, a senior fellow in the nuclear policy program at the Washington-based Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, said regular missile tests are part of North Korea’s plan to maintain its nuclear capability.

“This missile test is likely to send a message to the US, South Korea and Japan that North Korea continues to assert that it has the capability to deliver nuclear weapons to targets including the US territory of Guam. ,” he said, adding that “risk reduction” should be the current priority to prevent the crisis from escalating.

“In the event of such a crisis, it will play out under the significantly improved North Korean nuclear capability, which I think will significantly reduce the options of the United States and South Korea,” he said.

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Experts told CNN that Tuesday’s launch would reveal the severity of North Korean leader Kim Jong Un’s provocations.

“Pyongyang is still in the middle of a cycle of provocation and testing, and China’s mid-October Communist Party Congress is waiting for a more significant test,” said Leif-Eric Easley, associate professor of international studies at Ewha Womans University. In Seoul.

“The Kim regime is developing weapons such as tactical nuclear weapons and submarine-launched ballistic missiles as part of a long-term strategy to overtake South Korea in the arms race and drive a wedge between US allies.”

The previous four missile launches occurred within a week of each other in late September and early October, while U.S. Vice President Kamala Harris did so. An official visit Japan and South Korea, and the US, Japanese and South Korean navies have conducted joint exercises.

Tests by North Korea Also coming to international attention Focusing firmly Russia’s invasion of Ukraine And both Moscow and Beijing appear Reluctance to work with the West to further censor Pyongyang.

In May, Russia and China The United Nations Security Council vetoed the resolution The U.S. voted to strengthen sanctions on North Korea for weapons tests it said would fuel Pyongyang’s program to develop nuclear-capable missile systems.

Both Washington and the International Atomic Energy Agency have warned this year North Korea is preparing for a nuclear test, its first since 2017.

Jeffrey Lewis, director of the East Asia Nonproliferation Program at the Middlebury Institute, made a connection between missile tests and nuclear testing.

“North Korea will continue to conduct missile tests until the current round of modernization is completed. I don’t think a nuclear (test) explosion is far behind,” he told CNN.

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