Seoul, South Korea –
North Korea continued to conduct weapons tests on Thursday, firing at least three missiles, including an intercontinental ballistic missile suspected to be an intercontinental ballistic missile, forcing the Japanese government to must issue evacuation warnings and suspend trains.
The launches were the latest in a series of weapons tests by North Korea in recent months that have raised tensions in the region. They come a day after Pyongyang fired more than 20 missiles, the most it has fired in a single day so far.
South Korea’s Joint Chiefs of Staff said they detected North Korea firing a missile they believe to be an ICBM from an area near their capital Pyongyang around 7:40 a.m. and then firing two short-range missiles from the South Korean capital. The nearby city of Kacheon flies to its east. too much water.
While South Korean officials did not immediately release more specific flight details, the longer-range missile may have been fired at a high angle to avoid reaching neighboring countries’ territories. Japanese Defense Minister Yasukazu said one of the North Korean missiles reached a maximum altitude of 2,000 km and flew about 750 km.
The Japanese government initially said at least one of the rockets had flown over its northern territory, but later revised its assessment, saying it did not fly too far.
Prime Minister Fumio Kishida’s office has issued a warning to residents in the northern Miyagi, Yamagata and Niigata prefectures, instructing them to go inside fortified buildings or underground. There were no reports of damage or injuries from the areas where the warning was issued.
Kishida said North Korea’s missile launches were “outrageous and completely intolerable.” He said more details will be analyzed as officials analyze the missile.
One of the more than 20 rockets North Korea fired on Wednesday flew in the direction of a densely populated South Korean island and landed near its rivals’ tense sea border, triggering air raid sirens and forced residents on Ulleung Island to evacuate. South Korea quickly responded by launching its own missiles into the same border area.
These launches come hours after North Korea threatened to use nuclear weapons to make the US and South Korea “pay the most terrible price in history” in protest at military exercises between South Korea and South Korea. and the United States, which they see as a rehearsal for a potential invasion.
North Korea last launched a missile over Japan in October during a test of a new intermediate-range ballistic missile, which experts say is likely to reach Guam, a major US military hub in North Korea. Pacific. That launch forced the Japanese government to issue evacuation warnings and stop trains.
North Korea has ramped up its weapons demonstrations at a record pace this year. It fired dozens of missiles, including its first demonstration of an intercontinental ballistic missile since 2017, as it exploited the distraction caused by Russia’s war in Ukraine and a diplomatic pause to boost its momentum. promote weapons development and put pressure on the United States and Asian countries. allies.
North Korea has underscored its tests with an escalating nuclear doctrine that allows for a pre-emptive nuclear strike in a series of loosely defined crisis situations. U.S. and South Korean officials say North Korea is likely to pick up pace in the coming weeks with its first detonation of a nuclear test device since September 2017.
Yamaguchi reported from Tokyo.