A North Korean ballistic missile flew over Japan

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A North Korean ballistic missile flew over Japan

Un missile fired by North Korea (archives).

North Korea fired a medium-range ballistic missile that flew over Japan on Tuesday, the first since 2017 in a marked escalation in Pyongyang's intensive weapons testing campaign.

< p class="e-p">Pyongyang's last missile launch over Japan was in 2017, at the height of the period of fire and fury in which North Korean leader Kim Jong-un and President American of the time, Donald Trump exchanged insults.

On Tuesday, the South Korean military said it detected a suspected medium-range ballistic missile, launched from the Mupyong-ri area in the (northern) province of Jagang around 7:23 a.m. and which flew over Japan in the direction of from the east.

In a statement, the Joint Chiefs of Staff said the army maintains full readiness and cooperates closely with the United States while strengthening surveillance and vigilance.

Tokyo also confirmed the launch, uncharacteristically activating the country's missile warning system and asking the affected population to evacuate.

A ballistic missile probably passed over our country before falling into the Pacific Ocean. This is an act of violence that follows recent repeated firings of ballistic missiles. We strongly condemn it, Prime Minister Fumio Kishida told reporters.

With talks with Pyongyang stalled, nuclear-armed North Korea has stepped up its weapons modernization plans this year, including a record number of weapons tests. /p>

It notably launched an intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) for the first time since 2017 and reviewed its legislation to make its status as a nuclear power irreversible.

Last week, it fired four short-range ballistic missiles.

The firings came as Seoul, Tokyo and Washington conducted trilateral anti-terrorism drills on September 30. submarines for the first time in five years, days after US and South Korean naval forces conducted large-scale maneuvers off the peninsula.

US Vice President Kamala Harris, who was in Seoul the day before, visited the Demilitarized Zone (DMZ) between the two Koreas, on a trip to underscore Washington's unwavering commitment to defending the South Korea against the North.

North Korea, which is under UN sanctions for its weapons programs, generally seeks to maximize the geopolitical impact of his essays by choosing the moment that seems most opportune to him.

If Pyongyang fired a missile over Japan, it could represent a significant escalation from its recent provocations, said Leif-Eric Easley, a professor at Ewha University in Seoul.

Pyongyang is still in the midst of a cycle of provocations and tests, he added.

Mr. Kim's regime is developing weapons such as tactical nuclear warheads and submarine-launched ballistic missiles as part of a long-term strategy to overtake South Korea in an arms race and sow discord among US allies, he added.

South Korean and US officials have warned for months that North Korean leader Kim Jong- one is preparing to carry out another nuclear test.

It could be conducted after the next Chinese Communist Party congress which begins on October 16, several senior officials said this weekend. U.S. Asia-Pacific Command.

The idea that North Korea has a nuclear weapon is all the more worrisome given that , unlike other nuclear powers, the Pyongyang regime does not consider this kind of weaponry as a deterrent. ion intended never to be used.

Pyongyang has tested atomic bombs six times since 2006. The latest and most powerful test came in 2017, from x27;an estimated power of 250 kilotons.

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