North Korea launched a missile test on Monday with the potential capability of striking the entire United States, Seoul and Tokyo officials said.
The missile test occurred after the trial of a shorter-range missile on Sunday night, and these consecutive launches occurred promptly following another round of intense verbal exchanges between North Korea and the United States-South Korean allies.
“The ICBM-class ballistic missile launched this time, if calculated based on the trajectory, depending on weight of warhead, could have a flying range of over 15,000 kilometers (9,320 miles), meaning the whole of the US territory would be within range,” Shingo Miyake, parliamentary vice-minister of defense, told reporters at a news conference in Tokyo.
According to Japanese authorities, the ballistic missile followed a steep trajectory lasting approximately 73 minutes, reaching an altitude of 6,000 kilometers (3,700 miles) and covering a distance of about 1,000 kilometers (621 miles) before descending into the sea west of the northern Japanese island of Hokkaido.
Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida characterized the two tests as a threat to peace and stability, a statement said by the swift condemnation from the US State Department.
‘These launches, like the other ballistic missile launches Pyongyang has conducted this year, are in violation of multiple United Nations Security Council resolutions,’ a US State Department said in a statement.
South Korea’s military reported the launch of a long-range missile test from the Pyongyang area on Monday morning, covering a distance of 620 miles before landing in the East Sea, also known as the Sea of Japan.
The spokesperson referred to the Nuclear Consultative Group (NCG) meeting in Washington on December 15, during which the US and South Korea declared the establishment of an extended deterrence system by the middle of the following year and large-scale joint military exercises scheduled for August.
Additionally, the spokesperson pointed out the recent arrival of the US attack submarine USS Missouri in South Korea, alleging that Washington is involved in a perilous plan for a nuclear conflict.
“The North Korean threat is motivating greater trilateral cooperation among the US, Japan, and South Korea, including real-time sharing of missile tracking data. Officials in Seoul knew this ICBM test was coming, and had coordinated in advance with partners in Washington and Tokyo,” he said.