March 30, 2023

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North Korea launched an intercontinental ballistic missile on the day of the South Korean president’s visit to Japan

Hours before South Korean President Yoon Seok-yul arrived in Tokyo, Seoul announced that Pyongyang had fired an intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) into the Sea of ​​Japan on Thursday (March 16).

“Our military has detected a long-range missile from the Chunan region of Pyongyang.”Joint staff told Agence France-Presse (AFP) that it was an ICBM.

At a meeting of the National Security Council, Yoon called for strengthening trilateral cooperation with Japan and the United States. “North Korea will pay a fair price for these reckless provocations”His office said in a statement.

Tokyo said the missile reached a maximum altitude of 6,000 kilometers. Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida announced to reporters that he would meet with National Security Council ministers. “Peace and stability in the region are very important issues for the countries concerned”Mr. Kishita underlined.

First summit in twelve years

The launch came just hours before the leaders of South Korea and Japan meet in Tokyo, where Pyongyang’s nuclear and ballistic programs are expected to be at the center of their discussions. The summit will be the first in twelve years between the two neighbors as they seek to mend ties long damaged by Japan’s atrocities during Korea’s thirty-five-year colonial rule (1910-1945).

The two countries are currently increasing their defense spending and regularly conducting joint military exercises, which are essential for regional and global stability, Yun said. “South Korea and Japan increasingly need cooperation at this time [crises multiples] Where North Korea’s Nuclear and Missile Threats Increase”South Korean President Yoon Seok-yul said Wednesday during an interview with several media outlets, including AFP.

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It was Pyongyang’s third show of force since Sunday, when South Korea and the United States held their largest joint military drills in five years this week.

“justify his hostile actions”

North Korea planned on the day of the summit to receive a “Double Act”, meaning a warning to its neighbors and a protest against joint exercises between the US and South Korea, according to experts. In early March, North Korean leader Kim Jong-un ordered his military to step up military maneuvers. “Real War”.

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“For a North Korea that continues to find excuses to justify its hostile actions and weapons development, now is the perfect time for Kim to deploy his missiles.”noted Soo Kim, a former CIA analyst in Korea who now works at management consulting firm LMI.

Leif-Eric Easley, a professor at Ewha University in Seoul, felt that Kim Jong-un wanted to side with the article. “Threat Tokyo”Who wants “Deepen Trilateral Cooperation with Washington and Seoul”On the other hand, “Prevent South Korea from conducting further defense exercises with the US”. Washington and Seoul have stepped up security cooperation in the face of growing military and nuclear threats from Pyongyang, which has intensified weapons tests in recent months.


North Korea fired two short-range ballistic missiles on Tuesday and two strategic cruise missiles from a submarine on Sunday, hours before the start of US-South Korea drills. Dubbed “Freedom Shield”, the exercises will be held for ten days starting Monday. They pay attention “Evolution of the Security Environment” Due to North Korea’s aggressive doubling, allies said.

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North Korea sees the drills as a rehearsal for an invasion and vows to follow up “more” In replying. Test on Thursday “A casual angle could be an ICBM launch rehearsal or a verification of the North’s preparations for a spy satellite launch”Yang Moo-jin, a professor at the University of North Korean Studies in Seoul, told AFP.

Pyongyang Its most powerful missiles are not launched on a normal trajectory, and experts doubt they have the technology to survive atmospheric entry. North Korea declared itself a nuclear power last year “irreplaceable”It had earlier announced that launching a military spy satellite was one of its priorities.

The world with AFP