Fri, 01 Dec 2023

Washington [US], November 18 (ANI): Japan said the intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) launched on Friday by North Korea, the second missile test by the Kim Jong Un regime in two days, has the potential to reach the US mainland. The US said it was a "brazen" violation of UN resolutions.

Japanese Defense Minister Yasukazu Hamada said it had the potential to reach the US mainland. "The ICBM-class ballistic missile launched this time could have a range of over 15,000 km when calculated based on the flight distance of this ICBM," Hamada said in a statement. "It depends on the weight of the warhead, but in that case, the US mainland would be included in the range," CN reported.

It is not the first time North Korea has launched an ICBM that experts and officials have assessed could theoretically reach the US.

The ICBM was launched around 10:15 a.m. local time from the Sunan area of the North Korean capital Pyongyang, and flew about 1,000 kilometers (621 miles) east, South Korea's Joint Chiefs of Staff (JCS) said.

Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida said it likely fell in Japan's exclusive economic zone (EEZ), about 210 kilometers (130 miles) west of the Japanese island of Oshima Oshima, according to the Japan Coast Guard. It did not fly over Japan.

"North Korea is continuing to carry out provocative actions at frequency never seen before," Kishida told reporters Friday at the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) meeting in Bangkok, Thailand. "I want to restate that we cannot accept such actions."The Japanese government will continue to collect and analyze information and provide prompt updates to the public, he said. So far, there have been no reports of damage to vessels at sea, Kishida added.

Vice President Kamala Harris on November 18 convened Indo-Pacific leaders on the sidelines of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Leaders Meeting in Bangkok. The meeting was attended by Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida, South Korean Prime Minister Han Duck-soo, Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese, New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.

The leaders met to consult closely on the North Korea's test of a long-range ballistic missile earlier today.

"They agreed that, together with their national security teams, they would continue to assess the situation in close coordination with other allies and partners. They agreed that this launch is a brazen violation of multiple UN Security Council (UNSC) Resolutions and the leaders called on all UN Member States to fully implement all relevant UNSC Resolutions," the White House said in a statement.

The leaders reaffirmed that North Korea's nuclear test would be met with a strong and resolute response from the international community. They reiterated that the path to dialogue remains open for North Korea, and they called on the DPRK to abandon needless provocation and to return to serious and sustained diplomacy.

US President Joe Biden has been briefed on the missile launch and his national security team will "continue close consultations with Allies and partners," National Security Council spokesperson Adrienne Watson said in statement Friday.

"The door has not closed on diplomacy, but Pyongyang must immediately cease its destabilizing actions and instead choose diplomatic engagement," Watson said. "The United States will take all necessary measures to ensure the security of the American homeland and Republic of Korea and Japanese allies."Friday's launch comes one day after Pyongyang fired a short-range ballistic missile into the waters off the east coast of the Korean Peninsula, and issued a stern warning to the United States of a "fiercer military counteraction" to its tighter defense ties with South Korea and Japan.(ANI)

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