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Japan Issues Evacuation Order Following North Korea Missile Launch

Japan Issues Evacuation Order Following North Korea Missile Launch

Japan Issues Evacuation Order Following North Korea Missile Launch

As it continues its provocative series of weapons tests, North Korea launched its first intercontinental ballistic missile in a month on Thursday, presumably testing a newer, more mobile, harder-to-detect missile.

As a sign of its alertness regarding North Korea’s evolving missile threats, Japan briefly warned residents on a northern island to seek shelter.

According to a statement from South Korea’s Joint Chiefs of Staff, the missile was launched at a high angle from close to the capital of North Korea, Pyongyang, and crashed into the oceans between the Korean Peninsula and Japan after a 620-mile flight.

Its range was classified as medium or longer. The Japanese government claimed it likely had an intercontinental range, and the U.S. National Security Council described it as a long-range missile.

According to a defense official who spoke on the record anonymously because of workplace policies, South Korea’s military believes North Korea launched a novel type of ballistic missile that may have used solid fuel.

If a solid-fuel ICBM were used in the launch, it would be the North’s first weapon demonstration. The known ICBMs of North Korea all employ liquid propulsion that has to be fueled before launch. However, a solid-propellant weapon’s fuel is already loaded, making it easier to move and faster to fire.

One of the primary high-tech weapons that North Korean leader Kim Jong Un has pledged to develop to better counter what he perceives as military threats from the United States is a solid-fuel ICBM.

He also desires a nuclear-powered submarine, a multiwarhead missile, a hypersonic missile, and a surveillance satellite.

Officials emphasized the necessity of strengthening three-way security cooperation with Washington and Tokyo during an emergency meeting of Seoul’s National Security Council. Fumio Kishida, the Japanese prime minister, called a meeting of his NSC to discuss the launch and Japan’s response.

In a phone call, the nuclear envoys of Seoul, Washington, and Tokyo demanded a “decisive and united international response” to North Korean provocations and further action to stop the illicit financing of the country’s weapons program.

North Korea frequently launches missiles in international waters between the Korean Peninsula and Japan during missile tests to avoid its neighbors. Unless they are sure that the North Korean weapon is heading in their direction, South Korea and Japan usually don’t issue evacuation orders.

According to Japanese Defense Minister Yasukazu Hamada, the North Korean missile launched on Thursday failed to enter Japan’s exclusive economic zone.

However, the northernmost island of Hokkaido was still advised to seek shelter by Japanese officials, who also temporarily canceled bus, train, and metro service there. Local governments additionally sounded alert sirens over public speakers to warn residents to flee.

The government then withdrew its missile warning, claiming there was little chance of the missile touching down close to Hokkaido.

According to Chief Cabinet Secretary Hirokazu Matsuno, the notice was an “appropriate” response to prioritize the populace’s safety. It was based on an early assessment of the missile’s direction by the Japanese Defense Ministry.

Japanese officials issued a similar evacuation order in October when a North Korean intermediate-range missile sailed over Japan in a launch that showed the weapon’s capability to reach the U.S. Pacific territory of Guam.

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The North launched a long-range missile on Thursday for the first time since testing its longest-range, liquid-fueled Hwasong-17 ICBM on March 16. Kim Jong Un promised to make his nuclear arsenal more “practical and offensive” after reviewing his nation’s assault strategies on Monday.

Since the year 2022 began, North Korea has fired nearly 100 missiles, several of which are nuclear-capable and can reach the U.S. mainland, South Korea, or Japan.

The North’s testing binge is mainly in retaliation for military exercises involving South Korea and the U.S., which Pyongyang perceives as a warm-up for an invasion.

According to some analysts, North Korea exploits the opposing nations’ military exercises as an excuse to update its arsenal and put pressure on Seoul and Washington to demand concessions like removing economic restrictions.

According to South Korean and American officials, the drills were defensive and planned in response to North Korea’s increasing nuclear and missile threats.

Later on Thursday, China, North Korea’s lone significant ally, repeated that the United States and South Korea are to blame for the escalating tensions.

According to Wang Wenbin, a spokesman for the foreign ministry, “The negative impact of the U.S. military exercises and strategic weapons deployed around the peninsula a few days ago is obvious to all,”

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