The suspected ICBM flew at an altitude of 6,000 kilometers (3,728 miles) and 1,080 kilometers (671 miles) and fell into the water off the west coast of Japan on Thursday with a travel time of 71 minutes, the Japanese Ministry of Defense said.
Japan’s Deputy Defense Minister Makoto Oniki told reporters on Thursday that the height of the missile was a “new type of ICBM”, a possible sign that North Korea was close to developing weapons capable of targeting the United States.
North Korean state media later confirmed Oniki’s assessment and announced the launch of the country’s new known ICBM-type Hwasong-17 missile.
The United States has joined forces with allies South Korea and Japan in strongly condemning Thursday’s launch and called on North Korea to refrain from further acts of instability.
US President Joe Biden is currently in Belgium, where he is attending the G7 summit with Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida. The meeting is part of a series of meetings, including an extraordinary NATO summit, as Western leaders seek to align their responses to Russia’s brutal occupation of Ukraine. The European Council meeting will also take place on Thursday.
“North Korea refuses to ignore it and seeks to use its global aggression in the war in Ukraine to force it to pursue its status as a nuclear-armed state,” said Leaf-Eric Easley, associate professor of international research at Ewha Womans. The university in Seoul told CNN.
“North Korea has not launched an aggression anywhere on the scale of Russia’s aggression on Ukraine, but Pyongyang’s ambitions are violating the defense as it seeks to undermine post – war security order in Asia,” Easley added.
In response to Thursday’s suspicious ICBM test, the South Korean military fired several warning missiles for the first time since 2017, the Joint Task Force (JCS) told reporters.
“Our military has been monitoring the movements of the North Korean military and ensuring that we have the capability and posture to accurately strike the missile launch site and command and support facilities at any time when North Korea launches a missile,” the JCS said.
Analysts say North Korea test-fired a lofted missile on Thursday. Joseph Dempsey, research partner for defense and military analysis at the International Strategic Research Institute in London, said: “This is a tactic they often use to test long-range systems without flying to provoke another country.
Preliminary data from Thursday’s test show that it could be the Hwasong-17, a much larger ICBM than the Hwasong-15 tested in 2017, he said.
Kim Dong-Yup, a professor at the University of North Korean Studies in Seoul, said the data showed that the Jupiter missile had a maximum range of about 15,000 kilometers (9,320 miles) – which theoretically puts it within reach of the U.S. continent. The warship it carries – about 3,000 kilometers (1,864 miles) more than the Hwasong-15.
Despite the possible extended limit, Kim said Pyongyang has not yet demonstrated the ability to successfully master the technology needed to enter the final stages of flight in the Earth’s atmosphere.
The American answer
Earlier this month, the US Indo-Pacific Command announced that it was intensifying “intelligence, preparedness and surveillance operations” on North Korea in the wake of the latest missile launches.
The move by the Biden administration is a signal that the United States needs to strengthen its military position to strengthen allies in the region, such as South Korea and Japan, against North Korea’s missile tests.
The command said they had ordered “intensification of intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance operations in the Yellow Sea and enhanced readiness among our ballistic missile defense forces in the region.”
Earlier this month, the U.S. military conducted exercises to demonstrate its readiness, including simulating ballistic missile defense systems, following North Korean operations on and around the Korean Peninsula.
The U.S. military’s 35th air defense artillery has moved into the remote area, “occupying its wartime defensive position, establishing the Patriot missile system and operating air and missile defense operations in a simulated combat environment,” Korea said in a statement.
At sea, F-35 and F / A-18 fighter jets fly aboard the USS Abraham Lincoln aircraft carrier, along with U.S. Air Force assets in the area, exposing troops in the Yellow Sea off the west coast of South Korea. , According to the 7th Fleet of the U.S. Navy in Japan.
This story was updated to clarify the location of the missile.
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