DPRK Fires ICBM into the East Sea on the Day of the Summit Between South Korea and Japan

Park Eun-kyung 2023. 3. 16. 16:43
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On March 13, the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) announced that it fired two strategic cruise missiles in the early hours of March 12. The Korean Central News Agency reported, “The DPRK 8.24 Yongung (August 24 Hero) submarine that took part in the drill fired two strategic cruise missiles from Kyongpho Bay in the East Sea.” Korean Central News Agency

The Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) launched an intercontinental ballistic missile on March 16, the day of a summit between the leaders of South Korea and Japan.

According to the Joint Chiefs of Staff, around 7:10 a.m. Thursday, the military detected the launch of a long-range ballistic missile from Sunan in Pyongyang into the East Sea. The flight time was similar to the Hwasong-15 fired on February 18, so the latest missile could be another Hwasong-15 or similar missile.

The Joint Chiefs of Staff announced, “North Korea’s ballistic missile was launched at a high angle and hit the East Sea after traveling over a thousand kilometers,” and added, “The South Korean and U.S. intelligence authorities are comprehensively analyzing the latest launch after considering the North’s recent movements in connection to missile development.”

They argued, “The DPRK’s continuing launch of ballistic missiles is an act of serious provocation threatening the peace and stability of the international community as well as the Korean Peninsula.” The military authority strongly condemned the latest launch as a clear violation of the United Nations Security Council resolution and urged Pyongyang to immediately cease such acts. They emphasized, “Our forces will carry out intense joint exercises and training planned for combined defense posture through and through and maintain firm preparedness based on our ability to make an ‘overwhelming’ response to any provocation from North Korea.”

This was the sixth time that the DPRK fired a ballistic missile this year, and just two days after it fired two short-range ballistic missiles into the East Sea from Changyon in South Hwanghae Province on March 14.

The latest missile launch seems to be a response to various issues including Freedom Shield, the joint military drill between South Korea and the United States carried out from March 13-23, and the South Korea-Japan summit.

President Yoon Suk-yeol will depart for a two-day trip to Japan on Thursday and meet with Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida. The two leaders are expected to discuss bilateral defense and security issues. Reportedly, North Korea is also conducting winter drills currently.

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