On Thursday, North Korea launched an intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) for the first time since 2017, the nation’s most significant weapons test in recent years.
The nation’s test of the ICBM is an escalation of its weapons program and is increasing tensions with the United States and its international allies. The test was conducted near Pyongyang’s Sunan area, which was the location of two recent missile tests by North Korea.
Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida said the missile appears to be a new form of ICBM because of its extended range and condemned the test.
“These series of actions taken by North Korea threaten the peace and security of our country, the region, and the international community, and they are absolutely unacceptable,” Kishida said.
South Korea’s military responded immediately by test-firing multiple ground and air missiles into the sea between Japan and the Korean Peninsula.
South Korean President Moon Jae-in vehemently denounced the missile’s launch, which he said presented “a serious danger to the international community as well as the Korean Peninsula.”
This launch is the latest in a series of weapons tests that experts say are meant to push the international community to recognize Kim Jong Un’s regime as a nuclear power.
Thursday’s launch ended a self-imposed suspension on testing ICBMs or other nuclear weapons. North Korea declared the moratorium in 2018 in preparation for diplomatic talks with former President Donald Trump that were unsuccessful.
The country is banned from such tests under United Nations Security Council resolutions.
White House press secretary Jen Psaki released a statement condemning the test. Psaki stated that the Biden administration was assessing the situation along with our nation’s allies.
Referring to North Korea by its official name, the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Psaki said, “This action demonstrates that the DPRK continues to prioritize its weapons of mass destruction and ballistic missile programs over the well-being of its people. We urge all countries to hold the DPRK accountable for such violations and call on the DPRK to come to the table for serious negotiations.”