North Korea Fires Intercontinental Missiles Capable of Reaching US

Geopolitics
North Korea Fires Intercontinental Missiles Capable of Reaching US PHOTOGRAPH: Wikimedia Commons/TSgt. Frank Garzelnick, USAF | Under Public Domain Dedication

North Korea recently fired four ballistic missiles, according to Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe. South Korea’s military also confirmed the report from Japan. The missiles reportedly hit the seas within the exclusive economic zone of Japan. North Korea’s recent move caused concerns to the international community due to its provocative nature.

North Korea’s intercontinental missile is capable of reaching the U.S. mainland

As of the moment, the authorities have not identified the type of missile which North Korea fired. Pyongyang, North Korea’s capital city, has made a series of tests in various ranges in the past few months. South Korea’s Yonhap news agency reported that an unnamed ministry official stated that North Korea’s intercontinental ballistic missile is capable of reaching the United States. The basis of the assumption came from the fact that one of the missile’s projectile can reach the U.S. mainland.

Out of the four ballistic missiles, three missiles landed within Japan’s seas. The launch came from the Tongchang-ri region. The missile reportedly flew over 1000 km. The location of the Tongchang-ri region is near the North Korea’s border with China. The region is the home for Sohae Satellite Launching Station. It is the same location where the communist country fired a long-range rocket in 2016, which put the object into the Earth’s orbit. The United Nations condemned the launch. The organization believed that the launch violated the resolutions which banned the usage of missile technology.

Japanese officials see North Korea’s recent launch as a grave threat. Moreover, Japan lodged strong protests against North Korea’s nuclear armory. During the inquiry in the parliament, Japanese PM Abe condemned North Korea’s action and stated, “The launches are clearly in violation of Security Council resolutions. It is an extremely dangerous action.”

North Korea vs U.S. and South Korea: The blame game

Officials believe that the North’s launch was prompted by Seoul and Washington’s recent annual joint military exercises called the Foal Eagle. As a result, the joint exercises infuriated Pyongyang, which strongly condemned the exercises. North Korea repeatedly argued that its space program is peaceful. However, skeptics believed that they are developing an intercontinental ballistic missile that could be used to strike the States.

A military official from South Korea stated that the launch took place at around 7:36 am (22:36 GMT Sunday). The South’s officials are still determining the type of projectile that the North used for the test launch.

Meanwhile, the Japanese officials are concerned over the recent activities at the Tongchang-ri region.
Previously, the North claimed a success on test-firing a new type of ballistic missile under the supervision of NK leader Kim Jong Un. The U.N., U.S., South Korea and Japan condemned the test launch.

North Korea threatened to have “strong retaliatory measures” after South Korea and the United States began annual joint military drills on Wednesday. The U.S. and South Korea military drill were done to test their defensive readiness against possible aggression from the North. On the other hand, North Korea criticized the annual drills calling them provocations of war and rehearsals for invasion.

Source: CNN, The Washington Post

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