Pyongyang [North Korea], March 17: North Korea launched an intercontinental ballistic missile as the United States and South Korea conducted their biggest joint military exercise in five years.
NHK quoted information from the Japanese Ministry of Defense as saying that the intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) launched by North Korea on March 16 appears to be capable of flying up to 15,000 km, enough to reach the US mainland. The launch took place as the United States and South Korea conducted the largest joint military exercise in five years.
Many military operations
The Japanese Defense Ministry said the missile launch took place at around 7 a.m. local time near Pyongyang. The missile flew for about 70 minutes, reached a ceiling of 6,000 km and flew a distance of 1,000 km, falling into the sea between the Korean peninsula and Japan, about 200 km west of Oshima-oshima island in Hokkaido province. This is the 12th time North Korea has launched an ICBM with a range of at least 5,500 km. On March 14, North Korea launched two short-range ballistic missiles.
Yonhap quoted a South Korean official as saying that the missile was very similar to the ICBM model Hwasong-17. This is the type of ICBM that North Korea launched in November 2022. After the latest launch, Chairman of the Korean Joint Chiefs of Staff (JCS) Kim Seung-kyum held an online meeting with General Paul LaCamera, commander of the Korea-US Joint Forces Command. The two sides reaffirmed that they will strengthen their combined defensive posture against any threats and provocations they perceive as posed by North Korea.
The JCS and the US National Security Council respectively issued a statement condemning and accusing North Korea's missile launch of increasing tensions and threatening to destabilize the regional security situation. After the launch, South Korean President Yoon Suk Yeol directed to continue conducting the Freedom Shield joint exercise with the US, which opened on March 13 and is expected to last 11 days.
Reuters on March 16 quoted North Korea's Ambassador to the United Nations Han Tae Song as warning that the recent US-South Korean military drills are dangerous provocations that could lead to a "comprehensive, uncontrolled and unpredictable" crisis. ". Han also said that Pyongyang's recent drills are a countermeasure to the actions of Washington and Seoul.
Korea and Japan shake hands
Japan's Chief Cabinet Secretary HirokazuMatsuno said on March 16 that he had protested through the North Korean embassy in Beijing. According to Reuters, after North Korea's ICBM launch, Japanese Prime Minister Kishida Fumio stressed that peace and stability in the region is the most important issue.
Source: ThanhNien Newspaper