NEWS: North Korea
The country tests banned intercontinental missile.

A railway-born missile is launched during firing drills according to state media, at an undisclosed location in North Korea, in this photo released January 14, 2022 by North Korea's Korean Central News Agency (KCNA). KCNA via REUTERS ATTENTION EDITORS - THIS IMAGE WAS PROVIDED BY A THIRD PARTY. REUTERS IS UNABLE TO INDEPENDENTLY VERIFY THIS IMAGE. NO THIRD PARTY SALES. SOUTH KOREA OUT. NO COMMERCIAL OR EDITORIAL SALES IN SOUTH KOREA.

On 16 March North Korea fired a mis­sile, which the US said was a test for land of an ICBM sys­tem
. North Korea has test­ed a banned transcon­ti­nen­tal bal­lis­tic pro­jec­tile (ICBM) for the first time since 2017, South Korea and Japan say.

Japan­ese pub­lic ser­vants said it flew km (684 miles) and fell in Japan­ese waters after fly­ing for over an hour.

ICBMs, designed for nuclear arms deliv­ery, could extend North Kore­a’s strike range as far as the US landmass.

The test is being seen as a major esca­la­tion by the North and has been con­demned by its neigh­bours and the US.

North Korea has launched a flur­ry of pro­jec­tile tests in recent weeks.

The US and South Korea have said some of those tests, which Pyongyang claimed were satel­lite launch­es, were in fact tri­als of cor­ri­dor of an ICBM sys­tem.
“The door has not closed on diplo­ma­cy, but Pyongyang must right now cease its desta­bil­is­ing actions,“White House spokes­woman Jen Psa­ki said.

Out­go­ing South Kore­an Pres­i­dent Moon Jae-in con­demned what he said was a” breach of the sus­pense of multi­na­tion­al bal­lis­tic bul­let launch­es promised by Chair­man Kim Jong-un to the transna­tion­al community”.

The Kim gov­ern­ment is deter­mined not only to keep South Korea hostage to mil­i­tary dan­gers that can escape Seoul’s mis­sile defences and­pre-emp­tive strike capa­bil­i­ties, but also aims to expand its nuclear reach over the Amer­i­can coun­try to dis­suade Wash­ing­ton from com­ing to the defence of US back­ers.
North Korea is nowhere near ini­ti­at­ing aggres­sion on the scale of Rus­si­a’s irrup­tion of Ukraine. But Pyongyang’s inten­tions like­wise exceed tone-defence as it wants to cap­size the­p­ost-war secu­ri­ty order in Asia.

The effec­tive­ness of being war­rants is wan­ing due to lax enforce­ment by some coun­tries.
Giv­en Chi­na and Rus­si­a’s lack of co-oper­a­tion on the UN Secu­ri­ty Coun­cil, the US and its abet­tors will prob­a­bly need to con­sent more inte­gers in those coun­tries and away that are sup­port­ing North Kore­a’s arms programmes.

The incom­ing Yoon admin­is­tra­tion in South Korea can be hoped to increase defence exer­cis­es with the Unit­ed States and secu­ri­ty co-oper­a­tion with Japan.

The Unit­ed States and South Korea had alert­ed in recent weeks that North Korea may be prepar­ing to test- fire an ICBM at full range for the first time since 2017.
On 16 March, North Korea launched a sus­pect­ed bul­let that appeared to explode short­ly after lift-off over Pyongyang, South Kore­a’s armed forces said.

The UN pro­hibits North Korea from bal­lis­tic and nuclear arms tests, and has charged strict war­rants after for­mer tests.
In 2017 North Korea car­ried out a num­ber of ICBM tests, the last of which involved a Hwa­song-15 bul­let that reached an alti­tude of km ( miles).

Experts esti­mat­ed the Hwa­song-15 could have trav­elled fur­ther than km ( miles) if it had been fired on a stan­dard line, which meant it could reach any part of the inter­na­tion­al Unit­ed States.
The ulti­mate launch is allowed to be the North’s largest ever ICBM test, and involved an indeed more impor­tant bul­let, con­ceiv­ably the new Hwa­song-17 unveiled in 2020 but untest­ed up to now.

In 2018 Kim Jong-un put in place a dol­drums on long- range bal­lis­tic pro­jec­tile and nuclear tests, fol­low­ing speech­es with also US Pres­i­dent Don­ald Trump.
But in 2020, Mr Kim declared he was no longer bound by this pledge.

Thurs­day’s launch also comes as satel­lite images showed North Korea fir­ing up activ­i­ty at its nuclear test­ing instal­la­tion in Pung­gye-ri ahead this month, adding fears that the North would renew test­ing nuclear arms and long- range mis­siles.
The instal­la­tion, locat­ed in the north-east of the coun­try, had been blown up in 2018 after Mr Kim promised to halt all nuclear tests.

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