North Korea launched an intermediate-range missile at the sea Sunday, its neighbors reported. This was in response to ongoing U.S. South Korean military drills, which it considers an invasion rehearsal.
The North’s continued missile testing showed its determination to not back down, despite U.S.-South Korea joint exercises that are the largest in recent years. Experts believe that the tests are part of North Korea’s larger objective to increase its weapon arsenal, gain international recognition as nuclear state, and lift international sanctions.
According to Japanese and South Korean assessments, the missile that was launched from Northwestern Tongchangri in North Korea flew across the country before landing in waters off its east coast. According to Japanese and South Korean assessments, the missile flew about 500 miles. This suggests that the weapon could have been used against South Korea.
The launch was discussed by the chief nuclear envoys of South Korea, Japan, and the U.S. on the phone. They strongly condemned the provocative act as a threat to peace in the Korean Peninsula. According to Seoul’s Foreign Ministry, they agreed to increase their coordination in order to issue a strong international response to North’s actions.
South Korea’s military stated that it will continue with the remaining joint drillswith America and remain ready to respond “overwhelmingly” to any North Korean provocation. According to South Korea’s Defense Ministry, at least one B-1B long-range bomber was flown by the U.S. for joint aerial training with South Korean warplanes.
North Korea is very sensitive to B-1B deployments. These aircraft can carry a large conventional weapons payload. The North Korean government responded to the February B-1B flights by testing-launching missiles. Their ranges proved that they could reach South Korea’s military airbases.
Japanese Vice Defence Minister ToshiroIno stated that the missile was not within Japan’s economic zone, and that no damage was reported to aircraft or vessels. The missile’s trajectory was likely to be irregular, which could have been a reference to North Korea’s highly maneuverable and nuclear-capable KN-23 missile, which was modeled after Russia’s Iskander missile.
According to the U.S. Indo-Pacific Command, the U.S. doesn’t consider the latest launch a threat immediately. the United States or its allies. It said that North Korea’s recent missile launches highlighted “the destabilizing effect of its illegal” weapons programs, and that the U.S. security pledge to South Korea and Japan is “ironclad.”
This was the third round of weapons testing by the North since the U.S. military and South Korean militaries started their joint military drillslast Tuesday. The drills include field exercises and computer simulations. They will continue through Thursday. Since 2018, the field exercises have been the largest of their kind.
North Korea tested its intercontinental ballistic missile Hwasong-17, which is capable of striking the U.S. mainland. Kim Jong Un, North Korea’s leader, was quoted by state media as saying that the ICBM Launch was meant to “strike terror into the enemies”.
North Korea’s missiles can reach Japan from a distance of approximately 50 miles. North Korea launched an intermediate-range missile last October over northern Japan, causing communities to issue evacuation warnings, and halt trains.
According to Ino (the Japanese vice defense minister), Japan’s Prime Minister Fumio Kishida demanded a prompt response after Sunday’s launch. He also requested that South Korea and the U.S. work closely together.
The drills began a day earlier when North Korea fired cruise missiles out of a submarine. According to North Korean state media, the missile launched from a submarine was an indication of its determination to counter the military maneuvers intensified by the U.S. imperialists as well as the South Korean puppet forces.