North Korea failed intercontinental weapon test that raised alarm in Japan


The North Korean projectile that prompted Japan to warn northerners to seek shelter on Thursday morning was apparently a failed intercontinental missile. At night, another missile crossed Japanese airspace and fell into the sea, totaling four projectiles fired by North Korea in just one day.

The information is from the South Korean Army, which, in response to the attack, decided to extend the military exercises it is carrying out jointly with the United States – the allies consider that the multiple launches coming from the north are an indication that the dictator Kim Jong- un prepares for a new nuclear test.

Initially, Tokyo had suspected that there was a missile flying over Japanese territory towards the Pacific Ocean, leading authorities in the regions of Miyagi, Yamagata and Niigata to issue an alert for their residents to take refuge, but soon denied the information.

Now, the Japanese Ministry of Defense claims that the missile did indeed pass through the country, but that its radar stopped working. This indicates that the launch went wrong and that the weapon disintegrated midway, its parts falling into the ocean. Even so, its wreckage was likely traveling at high speed and could have passed through Japan, says a military analyst consulted by Reuters.

The attack also included two short-range missiles, but the most important was the ICBM (intercontinental ballistic missile). Kim’s longest-range weaponry, he is capable of transporting a nuclear warhead to the other side of the planet. South Korean military claims the projectile had a capacity of nearly 760 km, a height of 1,920 km and a speed of Mach 15, equivalent to 15 times the speed of sound.

On Thursday night, Japan’s prime minister’s office said a fourth North Korean missile had flown over the country and crashed into the sea. The government suspects that the latter projectile was also of the ICBM class, but did not release more detailed information.

Seoul responded to its northern neighbor by firing at least three air-to-ground missiles into the maritime region near the country’s dividing line, after South Korean President Yoon Suk-yeol’s office called the action an “effective act of territorial invasion”.

Despite the failure, US State Department spokesman Ned Price condemned the attempt and urged all nations to tighten sanctions against Pyongyang, claiming the regime violated UN Security Council resolutions.

The shooting comes a day after Seoul accused the neighboring regime of firing at least 23 missiles in a day, in what would be Pyongyang’s highest number of rounds in a 24-hour period. And it came hours after the North Korean dictatorship demanded that the US and South Korea stop carrying out military exercises in the region.

A new round began last Monday, with planes from both countries in simulated air strikes, even amid national mourning enacted after the Halloween tragedy in Seoul that ended with more than 150 dead.

Kim Jong-un’s dictatorship calls the actions provocative, and a local official cited that the response to them could now come through “more powerful measures”. It is a vicious cycle, as the US and its regional allies also claim to act on decisions taken by North Korea.

In 2022, North Korea has already carried out about 40 launches, amid a scenario in which atomic threats have been renewed by Pyongyang in the most intense way since 2017. That year, a series of missile tests capable of hitting the US and the explosion of a hydrogen bomb led the administration of then President Donald Trump to negotiate directly with the North Korean dictator.

It didn’t work, not least because the American premise was to make the peninsula an area without nuclear weapons, and without them the communist regime loses its main instrument of negotiation. Now the signaling appears to be the same, and there is an expectation that Kim could conduct a nuclear test at any time.

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