North Korea Defies United Nations Security Council with Ballistic Missile Test
North Korea continued its defiance of the United Nations Security Council with a test of a long-range ballistic missile on Saturday. The missile was launched from an area near Pyongyang’s international airport at around 5:22 p.m. Japan’s Coast Guard reported the missile falling at around 6:27 pm. North Korea had issued a warning on Friday, saying the US and South Korea would face an “unprecedentedly and persistent and strong” response if the two nations conducted planned joint military exercises.
The missile, believed to be an intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM), splashed down some 200 kilometers off Hokkaido’s Oshima Island, inside Japan’s exclusive economic zone (EEZ). Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida said the missile appeared to have landed “within Japan’s EEZ, west of Hokkaido, and condemned the launch as an “outrageous act that escalates provocations against the international community.
Adrienne Watson, spokesperson for the White House’s National Security Council, said the launch “needlessly raises tensions and risks destabilizing the security situation in the region, adding, “It only demonstrates that the DPRK continues to prioritize its unlawful weapons of mass destruction and ballistic missile programs over the well-being of its people.
The missile is thought to have reached an altitude of about 5,700 kilometers (3,540 miles) and traveled a distance of about 900 kilometers on a lofted trajectory. Japanese Defense Minister Hamada Yasukazu said the missile would have been able to travel over 14,000 km, with a potential range of reaching anywhere on the U.S. mainland if launched on a normal trajectory.
North Korea previously test-fired a new type of intercontinental ballistic missile, named “Hwasong-17”, in November last year. In January 2022, North Korea released extraordinary photos of the Earth that it claimed were taken from a missile launch that reached 2,000km. Kim Jong Un’s regime test fired more than 70 ballistic missiles last year, the most in his decade in power and in defiance of United Nations resolutions that prohibit the launches.
The White House condemned the launch and said it would take all necessary measures to protect the US homeland and regional allies.
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