Monday, April 22, 2024

North Korea test-launches intercontinental ballistic missile amidst regional tensions

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Seoul: Prior to a Tokyo summit where leaders of South Korea and Japan were set to convene and address North Korean nuclear threats, North Korea conducted its third weapons test of the week on Thursday by launching an intercontinental ballistic missile. The missile traveled approximately 1,000 kilometers (620 miles) and reached a maximum altitude of 6,000 kilometers (3,730 miles) during its 70-minute flight, similar to a previous ICBM test from February that demonstrated potential to reach deep into the U.S. mainland. The missile was launched on a steep trajectory and fell into the waters between the Korean Peninsula and Japan, with no reported damage to ships or aircraft. While North Korea has claimed to possess functioning nuclear missiles, foreign experts remain uncertain if they have successfully developed the technology to build warheads small enough to fit on those missiles and withstand atmospheric reentry. In response to the launch, U.S. National Security Council spokesperson Adrienne Watson stated that the United States will take all necessary measures to protect its homeland and allies in South Korea and Japan, while criticizing the test for needlessly raising tensions and risking regional destabilization.

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