Japan: Siren sounds as North Korea fires missile overhead
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South Korean President Yoon Suk-yeol has ordered officials to push for tougher sanctions on North Korea. It comes after the secretive Communist state fired a suspected intercontinental ballistic missile on Friday.
The President held a emergency national security council meeting where he called for stronger deterrence in order to counter threats from Pyongyang the Presidential office said in a statement.
The ICBM launched by North Korea had the range to hit the US mainland, according to the Japanese defence minister Yasukazu Hamada.
Speaking to reporters in Thailand, he said: “Based on calculations taking the trajectory into account, the ballistic missile this time around could have had a range capability of 15,000 km, depending on the weight of its warhead, and if that’s the case, it means the US mainland was within its range.
“We have told (Pyongyang) that we absolutely cannot tolerate such actions.”
The missile landed in the sea around 210km (130 miles) west of the Japanese island of Hokkaido.
According to the BBC, the US has condemned the launch.
Military chiefs in Seoul have said that the missile was fired at 10:15 local time (02:15 GMT) from near the North Korean capital Pyongyang.
The South Korean military said that the missile reached an altitude of 6,100km on a lofted trajectory.
It travelled 1,000km (621 miles) reaching a speed of mach 22.
North Korea has fired more than 50 missiles most of them being short range.
Long range launches such as Friday’s are rarer and they pose a direct threat to the US as the missiles are designed to carry nuclear warheads to anywhere on the nuclear mainland.
Over the past months, North Korea’s pattern is to launch missiles in response to US military activity close to the Korean peninsula.
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Pyongyang is developing a new type of long range missile the Hwasong-17 which is larger than the ICBMS it has previously tested.
According to experts, several attempts to to launch the Hwasong-17 have failed and it has not yet been able to fly it’s full course.
North Korea conducted six nuclear tests between 2006 and 2017 and it is believed that it is planning a seventh.
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