North Korea on Wednesday held a new missile launch which aroused the discontent of the United States, Japan and South Korea, countries that not only condemned the procedure but also reported that one of the three projectiles used was intercontinentalthat is to say long-range, which violates different international laws.
This military test occurred just after the end of the tour made by the US president, Joe Biden, through South Korea and Japan, a visit that was marked by the threat of a nuclear test by the Pyongyang regime. Besides, he did nothing but increase the record number of tests of this type, which already reached 17 in 2022.
The Joint Chiefs of Staff of South Korea indicated that the shots originated in the Sunan area, in the capital Pyongyang, where a large part of the last weapons tests of the communist country have been carried out.
The United States condemned this recurring practice of North Korea and called on Pyongyang to choose the path of dialogue. “The United States condemns the multiple launches of ballistic missiles by the DPRK,” an acronym for the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, a State Department spokesman said Tuesday night, using the official name of the Asian country.
“We call on the DPRK to refrain from further provocations and to engage in sustained and substantive dialogue,” he added.
The White House called on North Korea to “refrain from further provocations.” Photo Manuel Balce Ceneta/AP
After this new test, South Korea and the United States fired “surface-to-surface missiles” in response to “alleged ICBM (intercontinental ballistic missile) and missile provocations” by North Korea, Seoul’s military said.
The South Korean government, after a meeting of its National Security Council, assured that the “successful” launch of these projectiles was “an illegal act in direct violation of the UN Security Council resolutions.”
The new South Korean president, Yoon Suk-yeol, described these shots from Pyongyang as “a serious provocation that threatens the peace on the Korean peninsula and in the international community.
South Korean President Yoon Suk-yeol called it “a serious provocation.” Photo Ahn Jung-won/Yonhap via AP
Yoon, sworn into office this month, has advocated toughening policy toward the communist neighbor to the north after five years of unsuccessful diplomacy by his predecessor Moon Jae-in.
During their stay in Seoul, Biden and Yoon agreed to “start talks with a view to expanding the scope and scale of joint military exercises and training” in the face of the “threat posed” by North Korea.
Before leaving the South Korean capital on Sunday for Japan, from where he returned to Washington on Tuesday, Biden said the United States was “prepared for anything North Korea does.”
And asked if he had a message for North Korean leader Kim Jong-un, he responded with a laconic message: “Hello. Full stop.”
For their part, the Japanese authorities, who also detected the shots, joined in condemning the test.
“A clearly provocative act such as launching missiles shortly after the US summits with Japan and South Korea, and the Quad countries, cannot be allowed,” Japanese government spokesman Hirokazu Matsuno told a news conference. .
A “highly unfortunate” situation
South Korean Foreign Minister Park Jin and US Secretary of State Antony Blinken said it is “highly regrettable” that Pyongyang uses its resources for weapons development instead of treating the pandemic and improving the lives of people. the population.
The Joint Chiefs of Staff of South Korea said in a statement that “it had detected around 06:00 (21:00 GMT), 06:37 and 06:42 ballistic missile fire from the Sunan area” towards the Sea of Japan, on its eastern coast.
“The first ballistic missile (a so-called ICBM) had a range of about 360 kilometers and an altitude of 540 kilometers,” he said.
The second projectile “disappeared at an altitude of 20 km” and the third traveled about 760 km at an altitude of about 60 km, it added.
In recent months, North Korean leader Kim Jong-un has repeatedly advocated accelerating his program to modernize his military and nuclear-armed arsenal.
Despite the recent outbreak of covid-19 in the impoverished and isolated territory, new satellite images showed that North Korea had resumed construction of a nuclear reactor.
Both South Korea and the United States have recently warned that the communist country, subject to international sanctions for its weapons and nuclear program, was preparing a new atomic test.
With information from EFE and AFP