G7 denounces North Korea's behavior after another missile launch
An intercontinental ballistic missile was reportedly launched by North Korea in Japan's Exclusive Economic Zone. (File photo)
The G7 countries denounced North Korea's “irresponsible behavior” on Saturday. This country indeed fired an intercontinental ballistic missile which would have fallen in the Japanese Exclusive Economic Zone, according to Tokyo, a few days before a joint military simulation exercise between Washington and Seoul.
Pyongyang fired an ICBM [intercontinental ballistic missile] class ballistic missile in an easterly direction. It flew for approximately 66 minutes and covered a distance of about 900 km, Japanese government spokesman Hirokazu Matsuno told reporters.
The flight time is similar to that of the Hwasong-17 ICBM that Pyongyang tested last November, according to South Korean specialist site NK News.
This new missile launch could be a second test of the Hwasong-17, but it could also be a test of the solid-fuel ICBM that Pyongyang is developing and which, for now, has never been seen, Joseph Dempsey, a researcher at the International Institute for Strategic Studies, told AFP.
This action was strongly condemned Saturday by the White House and by the G7 countries.
This firing unnecessarily aggravates tensions and risks destabilizing security in the region, argued the spokesperson for the Council White House national security officer, Adrienne Watson.
“It constitutes a flagrant violation of multiple UN Security Council resolutions. »
— Adrienne Watson, Spokesperson for the White House National Security Council
After meeting at the annual security conference in Munich, G7 foreign ministers said North Korea's irresponsible behavior demands a unified response from the international community, including significant new action by the United Nations Security Council.
The G7 countries (United States, Germany, Japan, France, Italy, Great Britain and Canada) condemn in the strongest terms this shooting which constitutes a flagrant violation of Security Council resolutions […] and which threatens regional and international peace and security.
North Korea has long been trying to develop a solid-fuel ICBM. These missiles are indeed easier to store and transport, demonstrate better stability and are quicker to prepare for a launch, which makes it more difficult for them to be detected as well as their preventive destruction by American forces. /p>
Japanese Defense Minister Yasukazu Hamada said the missile appeared to have a flight capability of 14,000 km, which would allow it to reach the continental United States.
The South Korean military had earlier announced the missile launch and said the country was maintaining full readiness while cooperating closely with the United States and increasing surveillance and vigilance.
The launch is a further escalation in North Korea's efforts to hone its long-range strike capabilities, retired South Korean general Chun In-bum told AFP. North Korea's message is clear: "We are making steady progress towards our goal of perfecting long-range nuclear weapons."
Military tensions have increased on the peninsula Korea in 2022, the year in which Pyongyang declared its status as a nuclear power irreversible and conducted a record series of weapons tests, including ICBMs.
In response to its northern neighbor, Seoul conducted joint military maneuvers with the United States, its key security ally, as a way for it to convince the South Korean public of American commitment. to deter Pyongyang from any attack.
Saturday's firing, the first in seven weeks, comes as the two allies prepare to conduct a simulation exercise, which will is due to take place next week in Washington, to discuss measures to be taken in the event of Pyongyang's use of nuclear weapons.
US President Joe Biden to conduct joint simulation exercise with the South Korean government to deter Pyongyang from any attack. (File photo)
North Korea threatened on Friday to react with unprecedented force to the upcoming US-South Korean maneuvers, seeing them as preparations for an armed conflict.
For An Chan-il, a researcher at the head of the World Institute for North Korean Studies, this latest shot indicates that Pyongyang's leader, Kim Jong-un, has finally drawn his sword.
South Korean President Yoon Suk-yeol, who took office in May 2022 promising to be tough on Pyongyang, has significantly stepped up military exercises with the United States.
Seoul called Pyongyang an enemy in a defense document on Thursday, a term it used for the first time in six years. which signals a further hardening of its stance on North Korea.
During Pyongyang's weapons tests last year, a missile landed at the south of the line which effectively serves as a maritime border near South Korean territorial waters for the first time since the end of the Korean War in 1953.