North Korea test launches ICBM as South Korea and Japan leaders set to meet

In this article, you will get all the information regarding North Korea test launches ICBM as South Korea and Japan leaders set to meet

In this article, you will get all the information regarding North Korea test launches ICBM as South Korea and Japan leaders set to meet

North Korea has test-launched an intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) in a display of military might, just hours before the leaders of South Korea and Japan were to meet at a Tokyo summit that was expected to be overshadowed by Kim Jong-un’s nuclear threats .

The launch on Thursday, the North’s first ICBM test in a month and third weapons test this week, also comes as South Korean and US troops continue joint military exercises that Pyongyang sees as a rehearsal to invade.

South Korean president Yoon Suk Yeol said the North would pay a price for its provocative actions and urged stronger security ties with the US and Japan.

South Korea’s military said the ICBM flew towards the Korean Peninsula’s eastern waters after being launched from North Korea’s capital, Pyongyang, at about 7.10am. Its statement said it was maintaining readiness in close coordination with the US.

Japanese defense minister Yasukazu Hamada said the missile probably landed in waters outside Japan’s exclusive economic zone after about an hour-long flight. The landing site is about 250km (155 miles) off the western island of Oshima, which is close to where other North Korean ICBMs fell in recent months after test-flights.

Thursday’s launch came hours before Yoon was to travel to Tokyo for a summit with Japanese prime minister Fumio Kishida aimed at mending frayed ties and solidifying a trilateral security cooperation with the US to counter North Korean threats.

After conducting a record number of missile tests last year, North Korea has extended its testing activities this year, including the launch on February 18 of its Hwasong-15 ICBM that is designed to strike the US mainland. After that ICBM launch, North Korea said the test was meant to further bolster its “fatal” nuclear attack capacity against its rivals.

The North’s ongoing aggressive run of weapons tests has been widely expected; leader Kim Jong-un last week ordered his military to be ready to repel what he called “frantic war preparations moves” by his country’s rivals, referring to large ongoing drills between the US and South Korea.

Pyongyang earlier this week fired cruise missiles from a submarine and sent short-range ballistic missiles across its territory into its eastern sea. Last week, North Korea also fired at least six short-range ballistic missiles from a western coastal area in an exercise supervised by Kim, an event state media described as a simulated attack on an unspecified South Korean airfield.

The US-South Korean drills that began on Monday and are scheduled to continue until March 23 include computer simulations and live-fire field exercises.

Last year, Pyongyang test-fired more than 70 missiles, including nuclear-capable ones that could target South Korea, Japan and the US mainland. North Korea said many of those tests were a warning over previous South Korean-US military drills.

The South Korea-Japan summit was arranged after Yoon’s government last week took a major step towards repairing bilateral ties strained by Japan’s 1910-45 colonial rule of the Korean Peninsula.

His plan – to use local funds to compensate Koreans forced into industrial slave labor during the colonial rule without contributions from Japanese companies that employed them – has met fierce domestic opposition but reflects Yoon’s resolve to improve ties with Japan and boost Seoul-Tokyo-Washington security cooperation.

Under Kishida, Tokyo has also made a major break from its post-second world war principle of self-defense only, adopting a new national security strategy in December that includes the goals of acquiring preemptive strike capabilities and cruise missiles to counter growing threats from North Korea, China and Russia.

North Korea test launches ICBM as South Korea and Japan leaders set to meet

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