• Sun. Jun 4th, 2023

North Korea likely fired ‘new type’ of ballistic missile: Seoul


Apr 15, 2023

This file picture taken on March 24, 2022 and released from North Korea’s official Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) on 25 March, 2022 shows North Korean leader Kim Jong Un (C) walking near what a state media report says was a new type inter-continental ballistic missile (ICBM) before its test launch at an undisclosed location in North KoreaAFP file photo
North Korea likely fired a “new type” of ballistic missile Thursday that may have used advanced solid fuel, Seoul’s military said, representing a potential technical breakthrough for Pyongyang’s banned weapons programmes.

“North Korea appears to have fired a new type of ballistic missile, possibly using solid fuel,” Seoul’s Joint Chiefs of Staff told AFP.

All of Pyongyang’s known intercontinental ballistic missiles are liquid-fuelled, and solid-fuel ICBMs that can be launched from land or submarines have long been on top of leader Kim Jong Un’s wish list.

Such missiles are easier to store and transport, more stable and quicker to prepare for launch, and thus harder to detect and destroy pre-emptively.

At a military parade in Pyongyang in February, North Korea showed off a record number of nuclear and intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBM), including what analysts said was possibly a new solid-fuelled ICBM.

Seoul’s military on Thursday said it had detected one “medium range or longer” ballistic missile launched on a lofted trajectory — up not out — from the Pyongyang area at 0723 (1023 GMT), which flew 1,000 km (621 miles).

Japan, which briefly issued a seek shelter warning to residents of the northern Hokkaido region, said the missile had not fallen within the country’s territory and posed no threat to residents.

Climate and environment ministers from the Group of Seven are due to meet this weekend in Sapporo, Hokkaido’s regional capital, a month before the group holds its summit in Hiroshima.

The United States said it “strongly condemns” North Korea for the test of what it described as a “long-range ballistic missile”.
Super Mario Bros Full Movie
Super Mario Bros Full Movie
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The launch is the latest in a string of banned weapons tests conducted by North Korea, which has already fired several of its most powerful intercontinental ballistic missiles this year.

It has also tested what its state media has claimed are nuclear-capable underwater drones — known as Haeil, the Korean word for tsunami — which it says are capable of unleashing a “radioactive tsunami”.

On Monday, North Korean leader Kim Jong Un attended a meeting of the Central Military Commission to discuss ways to “cope with the escalating moves of the US imperialists and the south Korean puppet traitors to unleash a war of aggression”, Pyongyang’s Korean Central News Agency said.

Kim ordered that the country’s deterrence capabilities be strengthened with “increasing speed” and in a “more practical and offensive” manner.

Relations between the two Koreas are at one of their lowest points in years, with Pyongyang last year declaring itself an “irreversible” nuclear power, effectively ending the possibility of denuclearisation talks.

Earlier this year, Kim ordered the military to intensify drills to prepare for a “real war”.

In response, Washington and Seoul have intensified defence cooperation, staging joint military exercises with advanced stealth jets and high-profile US strategic assets.

North Korea views such exercises as rehearsals for invasion and on Tuesday described them as “frantic” drills “simulating an all-out war against” Pyongyang.

The latest test was likely a bid by the North “to put pressure on the South and the United States over their joint military exercises,” Choi Gi-il, professor of military studies at Sangji University, told AFP.

South Korea on Tuesday also accused North Korea of being “irresponsible” after Pyongyang cut hotline contact with Seoul last week.

North Korea has not answered the twice-daily calls made through a military hotline and an inter-Korean liaison channel since Friday, according to Seoul’s unification ministry.

The links were cut a day after Seoul accused Pyongyang of continued unauthorised use of a joint industrial complex in the North Korean city of Kaesong.

“Pyongyang’s provocations continue past its protest of US-South Korea defense exercises because Kim Jong Un hasn’t finished demonstrating his nuclear delivery capabilities yet,” said Leif-Eric Easley, a professor at Ewha University in Seoul.

“However, with the North Koreans literally not answering the phone, the lack of hotlines and diplomacy increases the risk of unintended escalation.”


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