North Korea fires suspected intermediate-range ballistic missile By Reuters


In Ju-min Park

SEOUL (Reuters) – North Korea fired an intermediate-range missile into the sea on Tuesday in a test of a new solid-fuel rocket, prompting criticism from South Korea, Japan and the United States.

South Korea’s military said it detected what appeared to be an intermediate-range missile that was launched from an area of ​​the North Korean capital Pyongyang on Tuesday at 6:53 a.m. (2153 GMT Monday) before it fell into the sea off the east coast.

It flew about 600 kilometers (372 miles) before crashing into the sea, South Korea said, while Japan’s Defense Ministry said it flew 650 kilometers (400 miles) and came within 100 kilometers (62 miles).

South Korea’s Joint Chiefs of Staff did not specify the exact type of missile or the type of warhead it might carry, but North Korea has been testing medium-range hypersonic missiles powered by solid fuel engines.

South Korea’s Joint Chiefs of Staff spokesman Lee Sung-jun said the launch may have been “related” to the latest solid-fuel engine test.

In March, North Korean leader Kim Jong Un oversaw the testing of a new medium-range hypersonic solid fuel engine to develop national security capabilities, state media reported.

Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida condemned the establishment as a threat to regional and international peace and stability.

The US Indo-Pacific Command said the incident did not pose a threat to its troops or allies but condemned it as illegal and disruptive.

South Korean President Yoon Suk Yeol said the North may try to sow chaos in his country ahead of parliamentary elections this month. He said that such an attempt would not be futile and that the response to North Korea’s aggression would be strong.

US B-52 BOMBER JOINING BOMBING

Amid concerns that Russia and North Korea are forming a military alliance, the United States and its key Asian allies South Korea and Japan are expanding defense cooperation.

On Tuesday, aircraft from the three countries conducted a training exercise involving US B-52H bombers to deter and counter North Korean threats, South Korea said.

American, South Korean and Ukrainian officials have accused North Korea of ​​supplying weapons such as missiles to Russia for use in the war in Ukraine. Pyongyang and Moscow have denied the allegations.

South Korea announced sanctions on two Russian ships it said were carrying weapons between North Korea and Russia, and two Russian agencies that are working to recruit North Korean workers to help Pyongyang get foreign currency, South Korea’s Foreign Ministry said. said Tuesday.

Meanwhile, the United States government is planning a meeting between President Joe Biden and his Japanese and South Korean counterparts in July at the end of the NATO summit in Washington, Japanese media reported.

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