Home News North Korea launches intercontinental ballistic missile that falls off Japan

North Korea launches intercontinental ballistic missile that falls off Japan

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North Korea launched an intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) on Friday (November 18) which fell off Japan, the latest episode in a record series of projectile launches in recent weeks, while Seoul, Tokyo and Washington s expect an imminent nuclear test from Pyongyang.

The South Korean General Staff has “detected a presumed long-range ballistic missile launched around 10:15 a.m. (2:15 a.m. in France) from the Sunan area in Pyongyang towards the East Sea”he said, referring to the Korean name for the Sea of ​​Japan.

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Tokyo said the missile had traveled about 1,000 kilometers and that Japanese forces had not attempted to destroy it in flight. The Japanese Minister of Defense, Yasukazu Hamada, indicated that the projectile had reached a maximum altitude of 6,000 kilometers, and deduced from this that it was a “ICBM-class ballistic missile, although further details are being analyzed”.

“There is trivialization, distraction and disunity that benefits North Korea and pushes it to carry out its missile launches”

“The ballistic missile launched by North Korea appears to have fallen into our exclusive economic zone off Hokkaido”, the large island in the north of the Japanese archipelago, said Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida. This is not the first time that a North Korean projectile has ended its course in the Japanese exclusive economic zone (EEZ), that is to say the maritime space which extends up to 200 nautical miles ( 370 kilometres) beyond the coasts of a State, between territorial waters and international waters.

North Korea “repeats acts of provocation with unprecedented frequency. We strongly reiterate that this is absolutely unacceptable.”denounced Fumio Kishida.

“A shameless violation of multiple resolutions”

The White House has condemned “strongly” shooting, which according to her constitutes “a brazen violation of multiple United Nations Security Council resolutions and unnecessarily heightens tensions and risks destabilizing the security situation in the region”.

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In Bangkok, where an Asia-Pacific summit is being held, the American vice-president, Kamala Harris, was to meet urgently Friday with Fumio Kishida, the South Korean Prime Minister Han Duck-soo and the leaders of Canada, the Australia and New Zealand.

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On November 3, North Korea had already launched an ICBM but that launch had apparently failed, according to Seoul and Tokyo. The country had broken in March a moratorium it had imposed on itself in 2017 on the launches of this type of long-range missile.

Earlier this week, the North Korean foreign minister promised a response ” fierce “ strengthening the security alliance between Seoul, Tokyo and Washington.

The United States, South Korea and Japan have intensified their joint military maneuvers in recent months in the face of threats from North Korea, which sees these exercises as dress rehearsals for an invasion of its territory or an overthrow of the regime. by Kim Jong-un.

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“Unpredictable phase”

During a meeting on Tuesday on the sidelines of the G20 summit in Bali, US President Joe Biden asked his Chinese counterpart, Xi Jinping, to intercede with North Korea to put an end to the escalated and renounced to carry out a nuclear test, as Washington and Seoul lent him the intention. Joe Biden, his South Korean counterpart Yoon Suk-yeol and Fumio Kishida also promised a response on Sunday. “strong and firm” if Pyongyang carries out this test, which would be the first since 2017 and the seventh in its history.

The head of North Korean diplomacy, Choe Son-hui, replied that the strengthening of the military alliance between Seoul, Tokyo and Washington made “entering the situation on the Korean Peninsula into an unpredictable phase”.

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The more this alliance grows stronger, and “the fiercer the DPRK’s military response will be”said Choe Son-hui, using the acronym of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, the official name of North Korea.

Pyongyang carried out an unprecedented flurry of launches in early November, including a missile that fell near South Korean territorial waters for the first time since the end of the Korean War in 1953. President Yoon said denounced a “de facto territorial invasion”.

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