North Korea announced on Friday that the shot it fired the day before, and which earned it a warning from Washington, was that of a new model of “tactical guided projectile.” The test, in which two examples of the projectile with a solid fuel engine were successfully launched on Thursday, was overseen by a senior North Korean official, Ri Pyong-chol, the state news agency said on Friday. North Korean KCNA, received in Seoul.
This test is “of great importance to improve the military capabilities of the country” and “to deter all types of military threats existing in the Korean peninsula,” said the official according to KCNA.
The United States, South Korea’s main ally, has 28,500 troops deployed in this country to defend it against its northern neighbor. Pyongyang has nuclear weapons and says it needs them to deter any invasion by North Korea.
In a dispatch where it avoids using the words “missile” and “ballistic”, KCNA said the two projectiles had accurately hit their targets in the Sea of Japan – called Korea’s East Sea – after traveling through 600 kilometers. The South Korean Joint Chiefs of Staff, which first reported the test from the east coast of North Korea on Thursday, spoke of a trajectory of 450 kilometers. KCNA specified that the device tested could carry a payload of 2.5 tons.
“A violation of the UN resolution”, according to Tokyo
Thursday, after being reported by the South Korean Joint Chiefs of Staff without specifying the nature of the projectiles, the test was confirmed by Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga. The latter had been adamant: he declared that the projectiles launched on Thursday were ballistic missiles. “North Korea fired two ballistic missiles,” Yoshihide Suga told reporters, according to which North Korea’s last ballistic missile was fired almost a year ago, on March 29, 2020. ” It threatens the peace and security of our country and the region. It is also a violation of the UN resolution, ”said the head of the Japanese government.
Several resolutions of the Security Council of the United Nations prohibit the power of Pyongyang from continuing its nuclear weapons and ballistic missile programs.
After the Japanese Prime Minister, US President Joe Biden said Thursday that Security Council resolution 1718 had been “violated by these missiles which have been tested”. “We are consulting our partners and allies. And there will be answers if (the North Korean leaders) choose escalation. We will respond accordingly, ”warned the President of the United States. Joe Biden said he was ready “for a certain form of diplomacy” with North Korea, “but subject to the condition of denuclearization”.
Europeans have also reacted to the North Korean test. British Minister for Asia Nigel Adams denounced a “clear violation” of Security Council resolutions and called on Pyongyang to “engage in serious negotiations with the United States”. Germany urged North Korea to “refrain from carrying out further tests” and France called on it to “engage quickly and in good faith in a process of full, verifiable and irreversible dismantling of its programs. ‘weapons of mass destruction”.
Shots without consequence on Sunday
North Korea launched two missiles on Sunday shortly after a visit to Seoul by Secretary of State Antony Blinken and Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin. It was the first North Korean missile launch since President Joe Biden arrived at the White House.
US officials later said they were two short-range, non-ballistic missiles. These officials had minimized the importance of these shots by explaining that these devices were classified “in the category of normal military activities in the North”. These shots “are not sanctioned by UN Security Council resolutions against the ballistic missile program” in Pyongyang, an American official said on condition of anonymity.
Unresolved security issues
These resolutions prohibit North Korea from developing ballistic missiles. But Pyongyang nonetheless quickly developed its capabilities in this area under the leadership of its leader Kim Jong-un and tested missiles capable of reaching the entire mainland of the United States.
The tour in the region of MM. Blinken and Austin aimed to discuss security issues with US allies particularly related to North Korea’s potential for nuclear weapons and long-range missiles.