World War 3: North Korea Tests Another Missile
A week after North Korea tested what it said was a new type of ballistic missile capable of delivering a full-size nuclear warhead, there has been a second test despite the UN Security Council demands that North Korea conduct no such tests again, stating it was crucial that North Korea “immediately show sincere commitment to denuclearization through concrete action.”
Last week’s test involved what Pyongyang said was a long-range ballistic missile. The rocket reportedly covered a distance of 700km, with an altitude reported by some media outlets to be up to 2,000km, before falling into the Sea of Japan, according to South Korean and Japanese military estimates.
The Latest Missile
The White House said that the rocket tested today had a shorter range than those fired during three recent tests.
“We are aware that North Korea launched a [medium-range ballistic missile]. This system, last tested in February, has a shorter range than the missiles launched in North Korea’s three most recent tests,” a White House official said, as cited by Reuters.
Tokyo has already condemned the launch, describing it as an “intolerable” move clearly violating UN Security Council resolutions.
Japan will not tolerate North Korea’s “repeated acts of provocation,” Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga told a news conference later on Sunday.
Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said on Sunday that he wants to address the North Korean missile launches at the G7 summit in Italy later this month.
“I would like to have a thorough discussion about this at the G7 summit,” Abe told reporters after a meeting of the National Security Council, according to Reuters.
Abe added it was also crucial to cooperate with Russia and China while dealing with the issue of North Korea’s missile tests.
South Korea and Japan, Pyongyang’s immediate neighbors, have set up urgent meetings of their respective security councils, according to media in both states.
South Korea’s Office of Joint Chiefs of Staff said the country’s military and the US were conducting a thorough analysis of the launch, according to Reuters.
US Navy Ready
The navies of South Korea and the U.S. have been running a combined maritime operations center since early this year to better counter North Korea’s missile threats, officials said Sunday.
In January, South Korea’s Navy and U.S. Naval Forces Korea (CNFK) launched the operations center in the South Korean Navy’s operational base in the country’s largest port city of Busan, the South’s navy officials said.
The move is aimed at strengthening information sharing on North Korea’s maritime threats and beefing up cooperation on Washington’s speedy dispatch of strategic assets to the region in case of an emergency situation.
North Korea’s nuclear and missile programs are on the advance, posing a threat to regional security. Pyongyang’s development of submarine-launched ballistic missiles (SLBMs) is also a cause for concern as it is hard to detect such missiles.
Tensions heightened on the divided peninsula as North Korea on Sunday fired a new intermediate-range ballistic missile which it claims can carry a heavy nuclear warhead.
“We expect that more information on North Korea’s SLBMs and other ballistic missiles will be shared through the combined operations center,” said a South Korean Navy official.
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