North Korea fired a ballistic missile early Wednesday, the first such launch in two months and just a week after the US slapped fresh sanctions on the hermit state and declared it a state sponsor of terrorism.
The Pentagon said it detected and tracked a single North Korean missile launch and believes it was an intercontinental ballistic missile.
Pentagon spokesman Col. Rob Manning said Tuesday that the missile was launched from Sain Ni, North Korea, and traveled about 1,000 kilometers (about 620 miles) before landing in the Sea of Japan.
Manning said the Pentagon’s information is based on an initial assessment of the launch and a more detailed assessment was in the works.
Early Wednesday in Japan, Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga echoed the claims that North Korea fired an unidentified missile. He said it landed in the Sea of Japan, possibly within 200 nautical miles of the Japanese coast. He called the provocation unacceptable and said Tokyo has filed a strong protest.
The launch was the first since September 15 when North Korea fired an intermediate ballistic missile.
US President Donald Trump was briefed on a North Korea ballistic missile test while it was still in the air, the White House said Tuesday.
Trump was visiting Congress at the time of the launch and “was briefed, while the missile was still in the air, on the situation in North Korea,” according to press secretary Sarah Sanders.
A week ago, the Trump administration declared North Korea a state sponsor of terrorism, further straining ties between governments that are still technically at war. Washington also imposed new sanctions on North Korean shipping firms and Chinese trading companies dealing with the North.
North Korea called the terror designation a “serious provocation” that justifies its development of nuclear weapons.
Well, US experts did warn that North Korea could conduct another missile test "within days", and for once, US experts were right, because moments ago Yonhap reported citing South Korea's Joint Chiefs of Staff, that after a two and a half month hiatus, North Korea has fired a ballistic missile, the first such launch since September 15. The launch marks the first time North Korean has provoked the US and regional nations since US President Donald Trump labelled Pyongyang a state sponsor of terrorism.
"North Korea launched an unidentified ballistic missile eastward from the vicinity of Pyongsong, South Pyongan Province, at dawn today," the S. Korean Joint Chiefs of Staff said.
According to the report, the missile flew eastward and the South Korean military is analyzing details with the U.S. Japan's coast guard confirmed that North Korea fired a missile, which fell in the sea near Japan. The Japanese cabinet office said that the N. Korea missile landed in Japan's exclusive economic zone (EEZ), and thus could be seen as an act of aggression.
Update: In response to the launch, the South Korean military has staged a "precision strike" missile exercise in response, Yonhap reports citing the JCS. Meanwhile, the Pentagon has confirmed that the North Korean launch took place at 1:30pm EST, and was still assessing.
Separately, the office of the Japanese PM said the North Korean missile landed off the coast of Japan, likely inside the country's Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ).
North Korea Starting a War? U.S. Ally South Korea Blasts Targets After Kim Jong Un’s Latest Missile Test
South Korea staged a missile exercise Tuesday aimed at potentially taking out North Korea's most valuable military assets. It was in response to North Korea's launch of an intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) over the Sea of Japan.
South Korea's Joint Chief of Staff said its military conducted what it called a "precision strike" missile exercise in immediate response to North Korea's latest "provocation" in more than two months, according to South Korea's official Yonhap News Agency. The neighboring nations have technically remained at war since the 1950s, and fears of renewed conflict have been stoked by rising tensions between President Donald Trump and North Korean supreme leader Kim Jong Un, both of whom have access to nuclear weapons.
"North Korea launched an unidentified ballistic missile into the East Sea from the vicinity of Pyongsong, South Pyongan Province, at around 3:17 a.m. today," South Korea's Joint Chiefs of Staff said, according to Yonhap.
South Korea's Joint Chiefs of Staff described the missile as an ICBM that flew some 2,800 miles into space, making it the highest so far out of North Korea's three ICBM tests, and landed nearly 600 miles away, also making it the longest test. Such a missile had the potential to strike New York City or Washington, according to the Union of Concerned Scientists. Japan, another U.S. ally wary of North Korea's rapid military buildup, said the missile flew for about 50 minutes and landed within the waters of its exclusive economic zone, Reuters reported.
North Korea has launched about 77 missiles since 2014, according to the Nuclear Threat Initiative, double the number of launches in all years prior. Despite the unprecedented rate and success of testing under the youngest Kim, who took office in 2011, Tuesday's launch was the first since North Korea fired a Hwasong-12 intermediate-range missile over northern Japan on September 15.
Less than two weeks before the September launch, North Korea conducted its sixth nuclear weapons test, unleashing a hydrogen bomb explosion more powerful than all prior tests since 2006 combined. In July, it successfully tested its first two ICBMs, making good on Kim's promise earlier this year to put the U.S. mainland in his trajectory.
The U.S., South Korea, Japan and many other world powers have routinely condemned North Korea's ballistic and nuclear weapons program. But the reclusive, communist state has argued its increasingly advanced arsenal was necessary to prevent a U.S. invasion.
This is a developing story. More information will be added when it becomes available.
Understand further analysis says this is different from all previous NK launches, this one could reach ANY point in the US.
Thanks TC !
Based on our reaction, I would say it is indeed a game changer
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