North Korea launches long-range missile following South Korea-US meeting
A second intercontinental ballistic missile is thought to have been launched by North Korea during the last few hours, according to the current consensus. It is a follow-up to a meeting that took place between defence officials from the United States and South Korea the previous week, during which they updated each other on response measures in the event that the North were to launch a nuclear assault.
Pyongyang issued a statement on Sunday stating that it would take “more offensive steps” in reaction to the situation. A missile with a shorter range was launched by the state on Sunday evening, and a missile with a longer range was launched by the state on Monday morning.
Officials from South Korea and Japan reported detecting the missile launch from the Pyongyang region at 8:24 local time (23:24 Sunday GMT). After 73 minutes of flight and approximately 1,000 kilometres of distance, the missile landed in the sea west of Hokkaido.
ICBMs are capable of penetrating the continent of North America. If the confirmation of Monday’s launch as an ICBM is given, it would mark the North Korean Peninsula’s fifth deployment of such weaponry in the current year.
A month ago, tensions escalated between the North and the South due to Pyongyang’s successful launch into orbit of a surveillance satellite, which contravened United Nations sanctions.
In response, Seoul implemented a partial suspension of a military agreement with the North, which was designed to restrict military operations along the frontier and mitigate the probability of confrontations.
Subsequently, Pyongyang completely withdrawn from the agreement. Since then, North Korean forces in formerly unarmed regions of the Demilitarised Zone have been rearmed.
Kim Tae-hyo, the national security advisor of South Korea, predicted last week that the North would initiate an intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) test in December.
It has not yet been determined what kind of long-range missile was fired from the launch site. It was in July that the North fired its most recent intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM), which is the solid-fueled Hwasong-18. The North had previously successfully launched the missile in April.
The development of a new solid-fuelled medium-range ballistic missile is another endeavour that North Korea is focusing on. Although Iran claimed to have successfully tested the engine a month ago, the missile had not yet been successfully launched at the time of the experiment. Due to the fact that they do not require fueling before to launch, solid-fueled missiles are able to be fired with less amounts of advance warning.
In response to North Korea’s ongoing efforts to improve and expand its nuclear arsenal, South Korea and the United States are increasing their efforts to defend the region.
On Friday, authorities received an update on their contingency plans on how to react in the event of a nuclear attack by North Korea during a meeting that took place in Washington. As part of joint military drills scheduled for the next summer, the two nations have also reached an agreement to simulate the use of nuclear weapons.