Amid rising tensions, North Korea fired an intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) just days after threatening the US to shoot down spy planes near its airspace, officials in Japan and South Korea said on Wednesday. Which flew about 74 minutes before landing in the sea. In area.
The ICBM was launched after Pyongyang threatened the US to hit any of its spying sites if it entered its territory, which Washington denies, saying that its “military patrols are in accordance with international law”. Is.”
Last year, North Korea tested a record number of missiles, including one capable of hitting US territory.
The Japanese coast guard said the North Korean missile flew east of Pyongyang for more than an hour before landing in the sea west of Japan at about 11:15 local time (02:15 GMT) on Wednesday.
The South Korean military said the high-angle flight covered a distance of 1,000 km (621 mi).
The country has continued testing its weapons with an ICBM it has said is the “most powerful” it has ever built.
North Korea also attempted to launch a military satellite into space in May, which failed.
Following North Korea’s ICBM launch, South Korean and American officials met and issued a statement reiterating their “robust joint defense”.
The South Korean Joint Chiefs said, “We strongly condemn the launch of a long-range ballistic missile by North Korea, a serious provocation that harms the peace and stability of the Korean Peninsula and the international community and UN security.” There is a clear violation of the Council’s resolutions.” The staff said.
South Korean President Yoon Suk-yeol also called an emergency meeting of his National Security Council from Lithuania, where he is attending a NATO summit.
Pyongyang’s last test firing was in mid-June when it launched two short-range ballistic missiles in response to US and South Korean drills. The last ICBM was tested in February.
Wednesday’s launch comes days after tensions soared to a new high with Washington threatening to halt its air patrols and a nuclear submarine proposal in Korean waters.
Kim Yo-jong, the influential sister of North Korean leader Kim Jong-un, claimed on Monday that North Korea successfully shot down a US spy drone flying over nearby waters.
Kim Yo-jong warned that if US spy planes continue to intrude into North Korea’s economic waters, especially the 20-40 kilometer stretch, there could be a “shocking incident” in the future.
However, both the US and South Korea have rejected the allegations and called for restraint to avoid further escalation.
In response to rising tensions, the US State Department called for the avoidance of any further escalation and urged the nation to engage in meaningful diplomacy.
South Korea’s Joint Chiefs of Staff also rejected US claims, saying that Washington was conducting routine reconnaissance activities in coordination with South Korea’s military.