North Korea launches an ICBM, which appears to have failed, and two short-range ballistic missiles

North Korea unsuccessfully fired an ICBM during a fresh launch salvo on Thursday, the South Korean military said, and Washington called on all nations to enforce sanctions on Pyongyang.

The launches prompted South Korea and the United States to extend their ongoing joint aerial exercises, the largest of their kind to date, citing North Korea’s “provocations.”

People in parts of northern Japan were ordered to take shelter during the North’s recent launches, which have included two short-range missiles, and followed one Flash of projectiles fired Wednesday.

The largest of Thursday’s launches “probably ended in failure,” the South Korean military said.

The United States condemned the ICBM launch despite its apparent failure.

“This action underscores the need for all countries to fully implement UN Security Council resolutions related to the DPRK,” State Department spokesman Ned Price said in a statement using the official name of North Korea.

Washington also confirmed information from the South Korean military, which previously said it detected the launch of the long-range ballistic missile around 7:40 a.m. local time in the Sunan area of ​​Pyongyang.

Tensions between Japan and Korea
People move past a television screen showing a news report on North Korea’s recent missile launches near Japan November 3, 2022 in Tokyo. The picture shows North Korean leader Kim Jong Un.

Shuji Kajiyama/AP


Seoul’s Joint Chiefs of Staff said the ICBM appeared to have failed during the “second stage separation.”

“The range of the long-range ballistic missile is approximately 760 kilometers (472 miles), an altitude of 1,920 kilometers (1,193 miles) at a speed of Mach 15,” the military said.

It also spotted what were believed to be two short-range ballistic missiles fired from Kaechon in South Pyongan province at around 08:39.

The South Korean military “is maintaining a full readiness posture while working closely with the US and increasing surveillance and vigilance,” it said.

Pyongyang fired more than 20 rockets on Wednesday, including one that landed near South Korea’s territorial waters.

A short-range ballistic missile crossed the northern border line, the de facto maritime border, on Wednesday, prompting President Yoon Suk-yeol to call it “effectively a territorial invasion.”

The launches come as Seoul and Washington stage their largest-ever joint aerial exercises involving hundreds of fighter jets from both sides.

Pyongyang has called the exercise, dubbed the “Vigilant Storm,” “an aggressive and provocative military exercise against the DPRK” and warned that Seoul and Washington will “pay the most terrible price in history” if it continues.

The exercise was due to end on Friday, but South Korea’s air force said Thursday it would extend its air exercises with the United States in response to the recent launches.

“The Joint Air Forces have agreed to extend the Vigilant Storm exercise, which began October 31, in relation to the North’s recent provocations,” the Air Force said in a statement.

Tokyo confirmed the launches on Thursday, with the Japanese government specifically warning residents of northern regions to stay indoors or seek shelter.

Tokyo initially said the missile flew over Japan, prompting the issuance of a “J-Alert,” but Defense Minister Yasukazu Hamada later said, “the missile did not cross the Japanese archipelago but disappeared over the Sea of ​​Japan.”

Washington and Seoul have repeatedly warned that Kim Jong Un’s recent rocket launches could do so culminating in another nuclear testthat would be Pyongyang’s seventh.

“Next will likely be tactical nuclear weapons testing. Possibly very soon,” said Chad O’Carroll of Seoul-based specialty site NK News on Twitter.

Ahn Chan-il, a North Korean scientist, agreed.

“These are North Korea’s pre-celebrations ahead of the upcoming nuclear test,” he told Agence France-Presse. “They also act like a series of practical tests for their tactical nuclear use.”

North Korea revised its laws in September to allow pre-emptive nuclear strikes, with leader Kim declaring the country an “irreversible” nuclear power – effectively ending negotiations over its banned weapons programs.

US and South Korean officials told CBS News Kim is preparing to conduct a nuclear test once it proceeds with development of a tactical nuclear weapon. A nuclear test would signal that Kim has managed to expand his weapons program through the Trump and Biden administrations and despite the Covid-19 pandemic.

“We think they’re ready to go. Kim just has to give the thumbs up,” a senior US State Department official told CBS News.

A tactical nuclear device is designed to potentially be used on a battlefield.

October 4 North Korea launched a missile over Japan this also led to evacuation warnings. Pyongyang later claimed it was a new type of “intermediate-range surface-to-surface ballistic missile”. It was the first time North Korea had fired a missile over Japan since 2017.

Pyongyang later claimed the launch and a blizzard of other tests around the same time were “tactical nuclear exercises” simulating showering South Korea with nuclear-tipped missiles.

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