Tensions in Asia North Korea launches three new ballistic missiles

Tensions in Asia: North Korea launches three new ballistic missiles, Japan on alert

North Korea on Thursday launched three new ballistic missiles, two short-range ballistic missiles and an ICBM, which appeared to have failed to launch but raised alarms in central and northern Japan the day after an unprecedented volley of twenty rounds.

According to South Korean and Japanese officials quoted by Yonhap news agencyOne of the missiles launched Thursday may have been an ICBMlong range projectile capable of powering a nuclear warhead.

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Japanese Defense Minister Yasukazu Hamada, who first announced that this rocket had flown over Japanthen corrected that statement, clarifying that it disappeared over the Sea of ​​Japan, which separates the Korean peninsula from the Japanese archipelago.

“We detected a (rocket) launch with the potential to overfly Japan and therefore raised the alerts, but after checking the trajectory we confirmed it had not flown over the archipelago,” he told the press.

According to Yoji Koda, retired vice admiral and former fleet commander of the Japan Self-Defense Force, the disappearance of radar traces from the missile suggests so The launch was a mistake and probably broke up in flight.

Recent North Korean missile launches followed Pyongyang called for a halt to the large-scale military maneuvers jointly initiated by South Korea and the United States on Monday, which they described as a provocation.

“A Totally Inexcusable Scandal”

After the launch of a North Korean ICBM on Thursday Washington and Seoul have agreed to extend these joint maneuvers beyond their originally planned Friday deadline.the South Korean Air Force said in a statement.

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In a press release, the US State Department spokesman denounced Pyongyang’s launch of an ICBM, which “clearly violates numerous United Nations Security Council resolutions.”

South Korean Deputy Secretary of State and US Deputy Secretary of State Wendy Sherman also strongly condemned the series of North Korean missile launches in a telephone interview on Thursday, calling them “regrettable and immoral,” the South Korean foreign ministry said.

For his part, Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida told the press the shootings were “a completely inexcusable scandal”.