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Saturday, May 25, 2024

Months after North Korea lunched its first long-range missile test

The South Korean government characterized the tested missile as a solid-fueled weapon, likely alluding to the North's road-mobile Hwasong-18 ICBM.

Months after North Korea lunched its first long-range missile test

On Monday, North Korea carried out its initial intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) test in five months, likely deploying a more maneuverable developmental weapon. This move comes as the country asserts robust reactions to U.S. and South Korean initiatives to strengthen their nuclear deterrence strategies.

The South Korean government characterized the tested missile as a solid-fueled weapon, likely alluding to the North’s road-mobile Hwasong-18 ICBM. The use of solid propellants in this missile makes its launch less detectable compared to liquid-fueled weapons, as described by North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, who previously hailed the Hwasong-18 as the most potent weapon in their nuclear arsenal.

South Korea’s military reported that the North Korean missile covered approximately 1,000 kilometers (620 miles) before landing in the waters between the Korean Peninsula and Japan. Launched at an elevated angle, it appears to be a deliberate effort to avoid affecting neighboring countries. According to Japanese lawmaker Masahisa Sato, citing Japan’s Defense Ministry, the missile reached an altitude of up to 6,000 kilometers (3,730 miles).

US adviser condemned the move 

Over the past year, North Korea has conducted around 100 ballistic missile tests, aiming to expand its arsenal and extract concessions from the U.S. In response, the U.S. and South Korea have escalated military exercises and increased the temporary deployment of strategic assets, including aircraft carriers, nuclear-capable bombers, and a nuclear-armed submarine in and around South Korea.

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U.S. National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan condemned the North Korean launch in a phone call with his South Korean and Japanese counterparts, citing violations of multiple U.N. Security Council resolutions prohibiting ballistic activities by North Korea. South Korean President Yoon Suk Yeol directed officials to maintain a robust joint defense posture with the U.S. and respond promptly and decisively to any provocations from North Korea.

This ICBM test by North Korea marks its second weapons firing within 24 hours, following the launch of a short-range ballistic missile aimed at South Korea on Sunday night, which also ended in the waters off its east coast.