New series of North Korean firings, apparent failure of an intercontinental missile | North Korea

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New series of North Korean firings, apparent failure of an intercontinental missile | North Korea

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In Seoul, TV screens show a North Korean missile

North Korea launched new projectiles on Thursday, including an apparently failed intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) and another of an 'undefined type', the day after a record salvo of firings reached its peak. tension in the region.

North Korea fired an indefinite type missile, the South Korean army chiefs said on Thursday without further details, some hours after Seoul announced it would continue military air exercises with the United States.

Continuing these exercises is a very dangerous and wrong choice, said Pak Jong Chon, secretary of the North Korean Workers' Party Central Committee, according to a statement relayed by the official KCNA agency.

This launch was preceded by other launches on Thursday, including a ballistic missile launch, which Seoul said failed.

The United States denounced the illegal and destabilizing firing of an intercontinental ballistic missile, and the German presidency of the G7 group said it strongly condemned it.

According to the South Korean Joint Chiefs of Staff, the first three projectiles – two short-range missiles followed by an ICBM – had been launched Thursday morning from the North towards the Sea of ​​Japan.

North Korea's ICBM launch likely ended in failure while the rocket's second stage separated, the official said South Korean army.

According to her, this missile traveled 760 km at a maximum altitude of 1920 km and at the speed of Mach 15 (15 times the speed of sound).

The other two early missiles traveled about 330 km at Mach 5 and a maximum altitude of 70 km.

Tensions are high on the Korean Peninsula. North Korea launched at least 23 missiles on Wednesday, November 3, one of which fell near South Korean territorial waters.

Air-raid sirens sounded for the second day in a row in the South Korean island of Ulleungdo, located 120 km east of the Korean peninsula, local media reported. .

An alert was also raised in northern Japan although, contrary to initial claims by authorities, the missile ultimately did not fly over the archipelago.

According to Defense Minister Yasukazu Hamada, the projectile disappeared over the Sea of ​​Japan. The continuous barrage of missiles day after day is an outrage and cannot be tolerated, Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida has said.

On October 4, a North Korean ballistic missile flew over Japan for the first time in five years.

On Wednesday, North Korea had already fired 23 missiles, one of which had crossed the Northern Limit Line (NLL) which extends the inter-Korean land border at sea, while remaining in international waters.

According to the South Korean military, this was the first time since the end of the Korean War in 1953 that a North Korean projectile had terminated its course also near southern territorial waters.

South Korean President Yoon Suk-yeol said on Wednesday that the firing constituted a de facto territorial invasion.

This show of force by Pyongyang comes at a time when South Korea and the United States are carrying out the largest air exercises in their history in the region.

Secretary of State Lloyd Austin and his South Korean counterpart Lee Jong-Sup at Base Andrews in Maryland

The two allies decided on Thursday to extend these exercises in view of recent provocations from the North, the South Korean army announced.

According to analysts, the exercise, dubbed Vigilant Storm, worries Pyongyang because it mobilizes stealth planes F-35A and F-35B.

Devices that could be used in operations to decapitate the Kim Jong Un regime, argued Go Myong-hyun, a researcher at the Asan Institute for Policy Studies.

During the summer of 2022, reports of US-South Korean training in blitz beheading strikes against North Korean leaders had indeed circulated.

What aggravate the fears of Pyongyang which already considers the frequent joint maneuvers between the American and South Korean armies as dress rehearsals for an invasion of its territory.

Vigilant Storm constitutes an aggressive and provocative military maneuver targeting the Democratic People's Republic of Korea, the North Korean regime said on Wednesday, threatening Seoul and Washington with paying the most horrible price in history.

The United States and South Korea have been warning for months that North Korea is about to carry out a nuclear test, which would be its seventh.

In Seoul, a screen broadcasts a North Korean missile launch

By the end of September, Kim Jong Un's regime had adopted a new doctrine proclaiming the “irreversible” nature of the country's nuclear power status, making any future talks about its denuclearization impossible, and reserving the right to carry out preemptive strikes.

This proclamation was followed, in September and October, by a long series of missile tests, presented by Pyongyang as tactical nuclear simulations.

The recent series of firings are preliminary celebrations for their future nuclear test, predicted Ahn Chan-il, a researcher specializing in North Korea. It also looks like a series of practical tests for their tactical nuclear deployment, he told AFP.

North Korea broke its 2017 self-imposed moratorium on intercontinental ballistic missile testing in March, but has since suffered several chess.

Also in March, a Hwasong-17, considered the most powerful ICBM developed by Pyongyang to date, apparently exploded shortly after launch and a fireball was seen in the sky above the North Korean capital. And in May, the South Korean military reported an ICBM launch failure.

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