Airports on the west coast of the United States have been temporarily locked down after North Korea conducted another hypersonic missile launch test.
The United States Federal Aviation Authority issued a statement confirming that flights were briefly suspended after the incident.
North Korea says leader Kim Jong-un personally oversaw the successful test, as hypersonic missile capability is a “top priority” for the hermit nation.
After the launch, Kim said North Korea should “further accelerate its efforts to gradually strengthen the country’s strategic military power, both in quality and quantity.”
While the FAA has not confirmed that the launch was responsible for the subsequent shutdown, a statement said, “As a precautionary measure, the FAA temporarily suspended departures from some West Coast airports on Monday evening. Full operations resumed in less than 15 minutes. The FAA regularly takes precautionary measures.
“We are looking at the process around this ground stoppage as we are doing after all of these events.”
The US government has now imposed sanctions on five North Korean officials in response to the test, which is the second in a week.
US Treasury Terrorism and Financial Intelligence Chief Brian Nelson said: “The latest missile launches by the DPRK (Democratic People’s Republic of Korea) are further proof that it continues to advance prohibited programs despite calls from the international community for diplomacy and denuclearization.
Sanctions were imposed on the role of officials in procuring technology and equipment for missile programs in North Korea.
Sanctions were also ordered against another North Korean, as well as a Russian company and a Russian national who allegedly supported the country’s nuclear weapons development program.
The latest test of this program has been reported by several countries, including North Korea’s closest neighbor, South Korea, and Japan.
The government of Japan said it had detected a “ballistic missile-like object” and the South Korea’s Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff (JCS) said: “Our military has detected a suspected ballistic missile fired by Korea from the North from the mainland to the East Sea “.
Prior to announcing the launch, North Korean state media said the missile was a hypersonic glide vehicle which — after exiting the rocket thruster — performed a “glide” and demonstrated a “maneuver. in a corkscrew ”before colliding with a sea target thousands of km away.
Mr. Kim’s nation continues to forge ahead in its attempts to acquire nuclear capabilities, despite growing calls from the international community to cease its ambitions.