JThursday, March 24, North Korea fired an unidentified projectile towards the east, according to the South Korean military. Pyongyang thus extends a series of numerous launches since the beginning of the year. The Japanese Coast Guard has issued a warning message to ships about what is believed to be an intercontinental ballistic missile. The latter fell around 3:44 p.m. (6:44 GMT), in the exclusive economic zone of Japan, about 150 km from the Oshima peninsula, the northern island of Hokkaido.
According to Seoul, this is the first launch of such a powerful weapon since 2017. In response to this test, the South Korean army announced that it had in turn fired several missiles, from the ground, the sea and the air. , at 4:25 p.m. (7:25 GMT), in the Sea of Japan. In a statement, South Korean President Moon Jae-in referred to “a violation of the suspension of intercontinental ballistic missile launches” promised by President Kim Jong-un to the international community, as well as a violation of the sanctions regime. of ONU.
“The monster missile” ends in failure
For Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida, this launch is “a scandalous and unforgivable act”. North Korea “threatens the peace and security of Japan, the region and the international community”, he said in Brussels, deeming this shooting “unacceptable”. “At a time when the world is facing Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, North Korea continues its firing which unilaterally escalates provocations against the international community, which is absolutely unforgivable,” he said. number two of the Ministry of Defense Makoto Oniki. The United States for its part condemned “strongly” this shooting, specifying that it had taken “all the necessary measures to ensure the security of the American territory, South Korea and Japan”. The launch is “an insolent violation of multiple UN Security Council resolutions and unnecessarily heightens tensions” in the region, according to US executive spokeswoman Jen Psaki.
Pyongyang has been abiding by a self-imposed moratorium on testing intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBMs) and nuclear weapons since leader Kim Jong-un embarked on a series of high-profile diplomatic meetings with the then US president. , Donald Trump, in 2018. The talks broke down, and efforts by current US President Joe Biden to open new negotiations have failed to break the diplomatic deadlock. Pyongyang began hinting in January that it might break the moratorium and conducted a record number of weapons tests in the first quarter, firing hypersonic missiles and medium-range ballistic missiles, both banned.