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North Korea Confirms ICBM Tests, Warns of Stronger Measures

Seoul – North Korea said on Sunday Latest intercontinental ballistic missile test It was intended to further strengthen its “lethal” nuclear strike capability against rivals to threaten additional strong measures in response to upcoming military exercises between the United States and South Korea.

As a demonstration of its strength against North Korea, the United States responded by flying long-range supersonic bombers for joint exercises with South Korean fighter jets late Sunday.

Saturday’s ICBM test, North Korea’s first missile test since Jan. 1, shows that its leader Kim Jong-un is using his rival’s training as an opportunity. expand his country’s nuclear arsenal To gain an edge in future trade with the United States.experts say North Korea may hold regular military exercises Including its ICBM.

North Korea’s Korean Central News Agency said the launch of the Hwasong-15 ICBM was organized “suddenly” without prior notice on the direct orders of Kim Jong-un.

KCNA said the launch was designed to confirm the reliability of the nuclear weapon and the combat readiness of the country’s nuclear force. Launched at a high angle, the missile reached a maximum altitude of about 5,770 kilometers (3,585 miles), flew about 990 kilometers (615 miles) for 67 minutes, and then accurately hit a preset area of ​​the ocean. Korean Peninsula and Japan.

It seems that the steep launch was to avoid neighboring countries. Details of the flight reported by North Korea are broadly consistent with launch information previously assessed by neighbors, indicating that the weapon could theoretically reach the U.S. mainland if launched on a standard ballistic trajectory. I’m here.

KCNA said the Hwasong-15 launch demonstrated North Korea’s “strong physical nuclear deterrence” and efforts to “transform the capability of a lethal nuclear counterattack against an adversary into a very powerful and irresistible one.” said KCNA.

Some experts say North Korea has not mastered how to protect its warheads from the harsh conditions of re-entry into the atmosphere, which is why North Korea has launched intercontinental ballistic missiles with functioning nuclear warheads. Whether it has or not remains a source of external debate. North Korea says it has acquired such technology.

Hwasong-15 is one of North Korea’s three existing ICBMs, all of which use liquid propellants that require pre-launch injection and the ability to remain fueled for long periods of time. You can not. North Korea is pushing to build solid-fuel ICBMs that are more maneuverable and harder to detect before launch.

Ankit Panda, an expert at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, said: “Chairman Kim Jong-un believes that the technical reliability of the country’s liquid-propellant ICBM forces is well tested and evaluated, and that regular operations of this kind are possible. It is highly likely that they decided that the exercises were now possible.”

Chang Young-keun, a missile expert at South Korea’s Korea Aerospace University, said North Korea appears to have launched an upgraded version of the Hwasong-15 ICBM. Chan said information provided by North Korea indicated that the missile would likely have a longer potential range than the standard Hwasong-15.

Late Sunday, the US sent streaking B-1B bombers over the Korean peninsula to train with South Korean and US fighters, according to South Korea’s Joint Chiefs of Staff. He said Sunday’s drill reaffirmed the US’s “ironproof” security commitment to South Korea.

North Korea is sensitive to the deployment of US B-1B bombers, which can carry large amounts of conventional weapons.

The North Korean launch came a day after Seoul and Washington vowed an “unprecedented” forceful response to a series of military exercises planned in the coming weeks.

In a statement on Sunday, Kim Jong-un’s dominant sister, Kim Yo-jong, said South Korea and the United States were “openly demonstrating their dangerous greed and seeking military superiority and a dominant position on the Korean Peninsula.” ” he denounced.

“I warn you to monitor your enemy’s every move and take a very strong and overwhelming counterattack that responds to your every move,” she said.

Allies say their exercises are defensive in nature, but North Korea has adamantly denounced regular South Korea-US military exercises as rehearsals for aggression.

“We now know that actions taken by the United States and South Korea, even if justified in terms of defense and deterrence against (North Korea’s) reckless actions, will be interpreted and protested as hostile acts by North Korea. says Soo Kim, a security analyst at the California-based RAND Corporation. “There will always be food for (Kim Jong-un’s) weapon provocation.”

“Kim Jong Il, who has armed himself with nuclear weapons and has mastered the art of coercion and bullying, does not need self-defense. You can,” Su Kim said.

Adrian Watson, spokesman for the US National Security Council, said the US will take all necessary steps to ensure the security of the US mainland, South Korea and Japan. South Korea’s presidential National Security Council said it would seek to build an “overwhelming response capability” against a potential North Korean aggression, building on its military alliance with the United States.

South Korean and US forces are scheduled to hold a tabletop exercise this week to strengthen their joint response to a possible use of nuclear weapons by North Korea. The allies also plan to conduct another joint computer simulation exercise and field training in March.

South Korea and Japan’s foreign ministers met on the sidelines of a security conference in Germany on Saturday and agreed to promote trilateral cooperation, including the United States, on the issue of forced Korean mobilization during Japan’s colonial rule. We exchanged deep opinions. According to South Korea’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs, this is a key issue in efforts to improve relations with workers.

South Korea and Japan, both important allies of the United States, often quarreled over issues arising from Japan’s colonial rule of the Korean Peninsula from 1910 to 1945. But North Korea’s recent missile tests have prompted the two countries to explore ways to strengthen security cooperation.

Copyright 2023 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed without permission.

https://www.local10.com/news/world/2023/02/19/north-korea-confirms-icbm-test-warns-of-more-powerful-steps/ North Korea Confirms ICBM Tests, Warns of Stronger Measures

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