North Korea launched this morning an intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) towards the Sea of Japan, according to initial analyzes by the military in Seoul and Tokyo, falling off the island of Hokkaido, north of the Japanese archipelago. The Joint Chiefs of Staff in Seoul said it had detected in Sunan, just outside Pyongyang, the time of departure of the missile, which took place at 10.15 local time (2.15 in Italy). “While strengthening our monitoring and vigilance, our military maintains a position of full readiness in close cooperation with the United States,” the Command said in a statement. Pyongyang’s move came in the aftermath of the short-range ballistic missile launch, preceded by a few hours by North Korean Foreign Minister Choe Son-hui’s warning that the hermit state will take “fiercer” military action if the United States they will strengthen their “extended deterrence” commitment to regional allies, including South Korea and Japan. The reference to the trilateral summit held Sunday between the American president Joe Biden, the South Korean president Yoon Suk-yeol and the Japanese premier Fumio Kishida, on the sidelines of the ASEAN regional meetings in Phnom Penh, Cambodia. The three leaders had agreed to work together to strengthen coordination activities, with the explicit commitment reaffirmed by Biden. Extended deterrence, in particular, refers to Washington’s promise to use the full range of its military capabilities, both nuclear and conventional, to defend its allies. The latest North Korean turmoil has come amid fears of a new nuclear test, the seventh, by leader Kim Jong-un.
For Japanese premier Fumio Kishida, the launch “is absolutely unacceptable”. The United States, on the other hand, “firmly” condemned the action, explaining that “it is a blatant violation of the numerous resolutions of the UN Security Council and unnecessarily increases tensions and risks destabilizing the security of the region”
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