North Korea claimed Friday that its Thursday intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) test was meant to “strike fear into the enemies,” according to The Associated Press.
North Korea’s ICBM test was meant to put South Korea, Japan and the U.S. on notice, according to the AP. The strike was launched just before the South Korean-Japanese Tokyo summit meant to reestablish good relations and ongoing U.S.-South Korea joint military drills in the peninsula.
Japanese and South Korean assessments show the missile flew about 620 miles with a maximum altitude of 3,730 miles before landing between Korean and Japanese waters on a 70-minute flight, according to the AP.
“The United States condemns the DPRK’s ballistic missile launch. This launch is a clear violation of multiple United Nations Security Council resolutions, and demonstrates the threat the DPRK’s unlawful weapons of mass destruction and ballistic missile programs pose to the DPRK’s neighbors, the region, international peace and security, and the global non-proliferation regime,” State Department spokesperson Ned Price told the Daily Caller News Foundation.
“This action demonstrates the need for all countries to fully implement DPRK-related UN Security Council resolutions that are intended to prohibit the DPRK from acquiring the technologies and materials needed to carry out these destabilizing tests. Together, with the international community, we call on the DPRK to refrain from further provocations and engage in sustained and substantive dialogue. Our commitments to the defense of the Republic of Korea and Japan remain ironclad,” Price added.
The summit between South Korean President Yoon Suk Yeol and Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida aimed at improving fractured relations between the two nations as they both face threats from North Korea and China, according to the AP. While overshadowed by the ICBM launch, the summit ended with the two countries agreeing to work together along with the U.S. to enhance security in the region.
The ongoing U.S.-South Korean drills, which include computer simulations and live-fire field exercises, began March 13 and are scheduled to continue until March 23, according to the AP. Last week, Kim Yo Jung, sister of North Korean Supreme leader Kim Jong Un, threatened South Korea and the U.S. with a response if military drills continued in the peninsula.
North Korea has a history of making explosive responses to South Korean and U.S. joint military exercises. Last month, after American and South Korean drills using B-1B bombers, the North Korean military responded by firing two short-range ballistic missiles.
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