Saturday, February 18, 2023

Japanese, South Korean Military Gauge Range of Norths latest Missile that could reach the Continental US Territory

 The missile fired on Saturday from North Korea can potentially travel 14,000 kilometers (8,700 miles) and reach the US mainland, Japanese Defense Minister Yasukazu Hamada said.

Japan's Chief Cabinet Secretary Hirokazu Matsuno said the long-range missile had been fired at a high angle and flew 900 km at a maximum altitude of 5,700 km during its 66-minute flight. It fell into the water 200 km west of Oshima island, within Japan's exclusive economic zone.

"Having analyzed today's launch data, we estimate that an intercontinental missile fired at a regular angle could travel 14,000 kilometers and reach the continental US territory," Hamada told a news conference.

Estimates by South Korea's Joint Chiefs of Staff also suggest the missile was launched vertically and flew 900 km on a lofted trajectory.

North Korea's neighbors condemned the new launch, which comes three months after Pyongyang said it had successfully test-fired a Hwasong-17 intercontinental ballistic missile.

It also launched a short-range ballistic missile on January 1.

South Korea's National Security Council, which assists the president in developing security policies, said in a statement that the provocative launch was in violation of UN Security Council resolutions and would only ratchet up tensions on the Korean Peninsula.

South Korea's Joint Chiefs of Staff said it was coordinating closely with the United States and promised to strengthen the military alliance in response to what it sees as North Korea's provocations. 

The launch comes a day after the North warned allies against conducting the annual joint military exercise, codenamed Freedom Shield, which it sees as a preparation for invasion.

The United States said Saturday it “strongly condemns” North Korea’s launch of an intercontinental ballistic missile, which Japan said landed in its exclusive economic zone earlier in the day.

“This launch needlessly raises tensions and risks destabilizing the security situation in the region,” the White House said in a statement, adding, “the United States will take all necessary measures to ensure the security of the American homeland and Republic of Korea and Japanese allies.”  

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