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Thursday, December 1, 2022

North Korea ‘tests banned intercontinental ballistic missile’

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orth Korea has tested a banned intercontinental ballistic missile, South Korean and Japanese officials have claimed.

The missile flew 1,100km reaching an altitude of 6,200km (3,728miles), Japanese officials said.

Japan’s coast guard issued a warning to vessels over falling objects and said it flew for an hour before landing in the country’s exclusive economic zone, 106 miles west of the northern prefecture of Aomori.

Tokyo also claimed the launch appeared to a “new type” of intercontinental ballistic missile, although this has not be confirmed.

The country’s cabinet secretary, Hirokazu Matsuno, has lodged a complaint with North Korea following the incident and the infringement of Japan’s economic zone.

South Korean officials said the missile test had broken a moratorium on launching intercontinental ballistic missiles.

If confirmed Thursday’s launch is confirmed, it would be further than the Hwasong-15 which reached an altitude of 4,475km and a range of 950km in 2017.

US officials said at least two recent tests, on February 27 and March 5, featured North Korea’s largest ICBM system yet, the Hwasong-17.

“The purpose of these tests, which did not demonstrate ICBM range, was likely to evaluate this new system before conducting a test at full range in the future, potentially disguised as a space launch,” a US official said at the time.

North Korea did not confirm the type of missile used in either test but said it was testing components for a reconnaissance satellite system.

This month, leader Kim Jong Un said North Korea would soon launch multiple satellites to monitor military movements by the United States and its allies.

Thursday’s launch would be at least the 11th North Korean missile test this year, a frequency that has drawn criticism from the United States, South Korea and Japan.

Previously Joe Biden has claimed he is committed to achieving the “denuclearisation” of the Korean peninsula.

His predecessor held three high-profile summits with Kim but des Mr Biden said rejected that approach saying: “What I would not do is what has been done in the recent past.

“I would not give him all he’s looking for, international recognition as legitimate, and give him what allowed him to move in a direction of appearing to be more serious about what he wasn’t at all serious about.”

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