North Korea: Intermediate-range missile test confirmed | tagesschau.de


Status: 01/31/2022 07:36 a.m

North Korea has undertaken the largest missile test since 2017. South Korea accused the neighboring country of wanting to stoke new tensions. It is also getting closer to resuming long-distance tests.

North Korea has confirmed the first test of a potentially nuclear-capable intermediate-range missile since 2017. This is reported by the state news agency KCNA. The test of a ballistic missile of the type “Hwasong-12” has proven the accuracy and effectiveness for a mission.

South Korea’s military said the medium-range missile was launched eastward across the sea from Jagang province on Sunday. The projectile reached a height of 2000 kilometers. The rocket flew about 800 kilometers east before crashing into the sea. It was equipped with a camera that took pictures in space during the flight.

The “medium-range and long-range surface-to-surface ballistic missile” is in production. According to experts, the “Hwasong-12”, which has already been tested several times, has a range of 4500 kilometers and could theoretically reach the US Pacific island of Guam, where the US has a military base.

South Korea and the US condemned the test

The United States and its allies South Korea and Japan had sharply criticized North Korea’s seventh missile test this year. South Korean President Moon Jae In accused the neighboring country of wanting to stoke new tensions with its missile tests.

He called an emergency National Security Council meeting, a rare occurrence in South Korea. The missile test is a step by North Korea towards abandoning a self-imposed moratorium on testing intercontinental ballistic missiles, he said.

North Korea’s ruler Kim Jong Un said he was no longer bound by the moratorium. It was announced in 2018 during a summit with then-US President Donald Trump. The government in Pyongyang accuses the US of hostile policies, which Washington denies. The US negotiations with North Korea over its nuclear weapons program have not progressed for a good three years.

North Korea wants to show strength

UN resolutions ban North Korea from testing both nuclear weapons and ballistic missiles. These are usually surface-to-surface missiles that, depending on the design, can also carry a nuclear warhead. North Korea is also developing long-range missiles capable of carrying a nuclear warhead to the United States.

North Korea has carried out a series of missile tests since the beginning of the year, thereby violating UN requirements. An expert now spoke of a new quality. “Regardless of whether it’s an IRBM or an ICBM, it’s a strategic missile of some sort,” wrote George William Herbert of the Center for Nonproliferation Studies on Twitter.

According to political scientist Leif-Eric Easley from Ewha University, one of the aims of the test series should be to show strength. “The Kim regime is listening to discussions abroad about its domestic weaknesses and seeing South Korea’s growing strength,” Easley said. “It’s a reminder to Washington and Seoul that trying to overthrow it would be too costly.”


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