Kim Jong Un on Wednesday launched two ballistic missiles just hours after a U.S. ballistic missile submarine arrived in a South Korean port for the first time in four decades.
North Korea launched two ballistic missiles eastward early on Wednesday, according to Japan’s and South Korea’s militaries, reported Reuters.
Japan condemned the missile launches as they fell outside the country’s exclusive economic zone. South Korea’s Joint Chiefs of Staff also called on Pyongyang to cease such launches.
“We will make it impossible for North Korea to ever think of a nuclear provocation and have clearly warned that if it does, it will lead to the end of its regime,” South Korean President Yoon Suk Yeol said aboard the submarine.
This launch comes nearly a week after North Korea tested its latest Hwasong-18 intercontinental ballistic missile, a launch Pyongyang said was a warning to the U.S. and other adversaries.
The new missile, Hwasong-18, which translates into English as “powerful, innovative, or sacrifice”, shows the different meanings of North Korea’s latest missile. The missile is designed to signal North Korea’s power, its ability to new technologies and its willingness to sacrifice its people to achieve victory in a war with South Korea that has never technically ended. The Hwasong-18 is the third line of missiles to be publicly demonstrated.
North Korea’s missile launches have been met with international condemnation. The U.S. has called for diplomacy with North Korea, condemning its missile tests as a violation of multiple UN Security Council resolutions.
“Previous North Korean missile test demonstrate that North Korea could likely hit most points on the planet with the exception of South America,” said Eric Gomez, a Senior Fellow at the Cato Institute. Gomez has said “that the United States poses the most significant threat to North Korea.”
“Both the Hwasong-15 and Hwasong-17 ICBMs have ranges well in excess of 13,000 kilometers (8,060 miles), which would put all of North America, Europe, and Asia in rage, as well as most of Africa.”
Meanwhile, North Korea has repeatedly snubbed Washington’s offers of diplomacy, both publicly and privately. Kim’s isolated nation also vowed to respond more aggressively to any stronger military measures by the U.S. on the Korean peninsula.
North Korea has not had any relations with the U.S. since former President Donald Trump with the North Korean Leader during his presidency.
“The recent test of the Hwasong-18 further complicates Washington’s efforts to counter North Korea’s nuclear arsenal,” said Michael Sobolik, Fellow in Indo-Pacific Studies at the American Foreign Policy Council.
“Every additional minute of visibility and tracking the US loses increases the likelihood of the warhead’s survival. Importantly, North Korea has yet to publicly demonstrate the capability for a nuclear warhead to re-enter the atmosphere.”
Produced in association with Benzinga
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