(Seoul) North Korea announced, Friday, that the missile it launched the previous day, which it issued a warning from Washington, was a new type of “tactical guided projectiles.”
The official North News Agency reported on Friday that the test, in which two models of a solid-fuel-powered projectile were successfully launched on Thursday, was supervised by a senior North Korean official named Ri Byung Chul. .
The official said, according to the Korean Central News Agency, that this test “is of great significance for improving the country’s military capabilities” and “deterring all kinds of military threats existing on the Korean Peninsula.”
The United States, South Korea’s main ally, has 28,500 troops there 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 cable where it avoided using the words “missile” and “ballistic,” the Korean Central News Agency said that the two projectiles accurately hit their targets in the Sea of Japan – called the East Korea Sea – after they traveled 600 km.
The South Korean Joint Chiefs of Staff, which on Thursday first reported the test from North Korea’s east coast, spoke of a 450-kilometer trajectory.
The Korean Central News Agency has determined that the device tested can carry a payload of 2.5 tons.
North Korea’s official “Rodong Sinmun” daily published pictures showing the officials congratulating and applauding after the double shot.
On Thursday, after notifying the South Korean Joint Chiefs of Staff without specifying the nature of the projectiles, Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga confirmed the test, which he himself said was related to “two ballistic missiles.” “This threatens peace and security in our country and the region,” Suga said.
Several resolutions prohibit Pyongyang from continuing its nuclear weapons and ballistic missile programs, and North Korea faces a series of international sanctions.
Days earlier, on Sunday, North Korea launched two non-ballistic cruise missiles towards the west. Then the United States played down the importance of this test, confirming that these devices were not prohibited by United Nations resolutions. The situation is different for two projectiles released on Thursday.
After the Japanese prime minister, US President Joe Biden said, Thursday, that Security Council Resolution 1718 “violated these missiles that were tested.”
We consult with our partners and allies. There will be answers if (North Korean leaders) choose to escalate. We will respond like this, “warned the President of the United States. Mr. Biden said he is ready for” some form of diplomacy “with North Korea,” but is subject to the condition of denuclearization. ”
The Europeans 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 “enter into serious negotiations with the United States.”
Germany urged North Korea “to refrain from further testing” and called on France to “quickly and in good faith engage in a process of complete, verifiable and irreversible dismantling of its” weapons of mass destruction “programs.
Diplomatic sources said that the United Nations sanctions committee will meet on Friday, at Washington’s request, behind closed doors.
Regarding the double bullets on Thursday, US expert Vipin Narang from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology said the device tested appeared to be a projectile provided by North Korea last January during a military parade. It was felt that this device probably had nuclear capability.
“The 2.5-ton payload will likely settle the question of whether this device has a nuclear capability,” this expert tweeted.
The first North Korean fire since Joe Biden arrived at the White House came when two top officials in his administration, Secretary of State Anthony Blinken and Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin, toured the region to coordinate an anti-North Korean strategy with US allies. States.
Donald Trump’s presidency initially led to an exchange of insults and threats to launch a nuclear war with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, and then a diplomatic honeymoon marked by the historic summits for Singapore and Hanoi between the two leaders.
However, these close relations did not lead to progress towards nuclear disarmament.