North Korea fired another ballistic missile on Monday with the long-range capabilities of reaching the US, according to Japan and South Korea.
This follows a shorter-range missile test that occurred on Sunday night, after another row between North Korea and the US-South Korean allies, adding to the record-breaking year of weapons tests.
Japan’s defense ministry said the missile was ICBM-class, giving a potential range of over 9,000, which would cover the whole of the US.
The US State Department said in a statement: “These launches, like the other ballistic missile launches Pyongyang has conducted this year, are in violation of multiple United Nations Security Council resolutions.”
South Korea’s military detected the ballisitic missile in Pyongyang on Monday morning, tracking it 620 miles before it landed in the East Sea, or Sea of Japan. It reportedly flew up rather than across, a method used to avoid firing the missile over neighbouring countries.
The US and South Korea held another meeting of the Nuclear Consultative Group in Washington on Friday, and discussed how to mitigate the disaster in the event of conflict with North Korea.
Then on Saturday, they warned that a nuclear attack by North Korea on the US or South Korea would spell certain disaster for the regime.
A spokesperson for North Korea’s defense ministry said: “This is an open declaration on nuclear confrontation to make the use of nuclear weapons against the DPRK a fait accompli. Any attempt to use armed forces against the DPRK will face a preemptive and deadly counteraction.”
North Korea already damanged ties after launching a military spy satelitte and then claiming it was providing images of military sites in the US and South Korea, breaking a military agreement between the North and South.
The military satellite resulted in both the North and South escalating their security measures along the Demiliatrized Zone (DMZ) that separates the.
South Korea’s Defense Minister Shin Won-sik said: “If North Korea does something reckless that destroys peace, all that awaits them is a hell of destruction.”
The KCNA news agency, the state news agency of North Korea, said its leader Kim Jong Un has “eyes overlooking a very long distance and a strong fist beating a very long distance”.
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