Concern and outrage among North Korea’s regional neighbors following Pyongyang’s new missile launch. As reported from South Korea, the regime of Kim Jong-un fired three projectiles this Wednesday into the Sea of Japan, all of them apparently ballistic and one of them probably with an intercontinental range.
The first of the launches took place around 6:00 a.m. local time on Wednesday (9:00 p.m. GMT on Tuesday), and the other two occurred in a period of about 45 minutes later, according to the South Korean Army, which also pointed out that all of them took place from the Sunan area of the North Korean capital.
“The successive launches of intercontinental ballistic missiles and short-range ballistic missiles by North Korea today are illegal acts that directly violate UN Security Council resolutions and constitute a major provocation that threatens peace on the Korean peninsula and in the international community”, denounced the spokeswoman for the Presidency of South Korea, Kang In-sun. “The government strongly condemns these actions.”
From Tokyo, the posture is very similar to that of Seoul. defense minister Nobuo Kishi he spoke for his part of “provocation”.
“This missile firing immediately after the Japan-US and US-South Korea summits and the Quad summit is a clear provocation, and it is absolutely unacceptable,” Kishi said.
A new nuclear test?
Indeed, the launch, the seventeenth of its kind since the beginning of the year, takes place just one day after Joe Biden conclude their first Asian tour. The president of the United States participated together with the leaders of Japan, India and Australia in the Quadrilateral Security Dialogue Summitwith the situation on the Korean peninsula as one of the most urgent points to be addressed.
The launches come after Pyongyang fired three missiles that were considered short-range ballistic missiles from the south on the 12th, also from the Sunan area of Pyongyang.
Washington, Seoul and Tokyo have been warning for weeks that preparations by Pyongyang to launch an intercontinental ballistic missile had been detected (ICBM) imminently.
Added to this is the fact that the regime has been preparing for months what would be its first nuclear test since 2017 in Punggye-ri (northeast of the country), where according to the allies everything is ready in the absence of the North Korean leader, Kim Jong-un, choosing the right moment to detonate an atomic device.