North Korea fires ICBM into sea off Japan
North Korea fired an intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) on Friday that landed in the sea roughly 200 kilometres west of the Japanese island of Oshima Oshima in Hokkaido.
Japanese officials said the ICBM had sufficient range to reach the mainland of the United States.
The launch, reported by both South Korean and Japanese officials, comes a day after a smaller missile launch by the North and its warning of “fiercer military responses” to the U.S. boosting its regional security presence.
Friday’s launch adds to a record-breaking year for North Korea’s missile programme, after it resumed testing ICBMs for the first time since 2017 and broke its self-imposed moratorium on long-range launches as denuclearisation talks stalled.
Japanese Defence Minister Yasukazu Hamada told reporters on Friday that the missile was capable of flying as far as 15,000 km, while Chief Cabinet Secretary Hirokazu Matsuno said it flew to an altitude of about 6,000 km with a range of 1,000 km.
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South Korea’s military projected the missile reached an altitude of 6,100 km and flew 1,000 km at a maximum speed of Mach 22.
South Korean President Yoon Suk-yeol condemned the launch and said he would work with the international community for a coordinated response to the North’s repeated missile launches.
Yoon made the remark at a joint news conference with Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez held after their bilateral talks in Seoul.
Meanwhile, during an emergency national security council meeting, Yoon ordered officials to push for strong sanctions on North Korea.
Yoon also called for the implementation of strengthened extended deterrence to counter the North’s threats, his office said in a statement.