Seoul: North Korean ICBM test failed

According to local media, air raid sirens sounded on the South Korean island of Ulleungdo on Thursday, as they had the day before.

Seoul: North Korean ICBM test failed

According to local media, air raid sirens sounded on the South Korean island of Ulleungdo on Thursday, as they had the day before. According to the Ministry of Defense in Tokyo, the population in northern Japan was also warned. Contrary to what was initially announced by the Japanese government, apparently no North Korean missile flew over Japanese territory. Defense Minister Yasukazu Hamada stated that the missile did not cross Japanese islands and instead "disappeared over the Sea of ​​Japan".

South Korea's army suspected that the ICBM was fired around 7:40 a.m. local time (11:40 p.m. CET) from the Sunan district of the North Korean capital Pyongyang. About an hour later, two more missiles, believed to be short-range missiles, were launched from the town of Kaechon. According to Seoul, three more short-range missiles were launched in the evening towards the East Sea, also known as the Sea of ​​Japan, between Japan and the Korean peninsula.

The South Korean army said it remains "on full alert", working "closely with the US" and increasing "surveillance and vigilance".

The G7 countries condemned North Korea's actions "strongly", as Federal Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock (Greens) said at a meeting of the group in Münster. The alleged missile launches and possible plans for a North Korean nuclear test represented a "break with international United Nations resolutions".

Washington confirmed South Korea's missile test claims. It is important that all states "fully implement" the punitive measures against North Korea imposed by the UN Security Council, which should prevent such "destabilizing missile tests", said US State Department spokesman Ned Price on Wednesday evening (local time).

He also condemned the rocket launches as a "clear violation" of UN resolutions. They showed that North Korea posed a threat to "its neighbors" and to international peace.

The United States has been trying to tighten sanctions against Pyongyang for months. So far, however, Russia and China have prevented this. Most recently, the two permanent members of the UN Security Council voted against a corresponding resolution in May.

The South Korean Air Force announced on Thursday that it would extend joint exercises with the US Air Force in response to recent North Korean missile launches. Hundreds of combat aircraft from both countries are involved in the maneuver.

North Korea immediately criticized the decision. Extending the exercises is "a very dangerous and wrong decision," state news agency KCNA quoted senior official Pak Jong Chon as saying. In the past, Pyongyang has condemned the military exercises as "aggressive and provocative" and threatened that Seoul and Washington would pay the "horrible price" for them.

North Korea had already fired 23 missiles on Wednesday. According to the South Korean army, one of the missiles crossed the de facto maritime border between North and South Korea. According to the General Staff, it came "closest than any missile since the end of the Korean War in 1953" to South Korean territorial waters, hitting the sea just 57 kilometers east of mainland South Korea.

Washington and Seoul have been warning for months that North Korea could conduct a nuclear weapons test in the near future. It would be the first such test since 2017. North Korea has carried out six nuclear weapons tests since 2006.

The expert Chad O'Carroll from the news portal "NK News" called it "quite possible" on Twitter that Pyongyang would next carry out tactical nuclear weapons tests - "possibly very soon". North Korea expert Ahn Chan Il described the recent missile tests as "North Korea's pre-celebration" for an upcoming nuclear weapons test.