In response to this first launch in two months, South Korea conducted a missile test on Tuesday. “We will take care of it,” reacted Donald Trump. An emergency meeting of the UN Security Council will be held on Wednesday.
North Korea launched a new ballistic missile on Tuesday, according to the South Korean general staff. The shooting took place from the site of Sain-ni, in the south of the province of Pyongang, around 19:17 p.m. (French time) and the machine crashed in the Sea of Japan after having traveled nearly 1000 kilometers, specifies the South Korean army, indicating that it had itself carried out a missile test in response to this "provocation". According to the first analyzes, it would be an intercontinental missile, indicated the Pentagon, which specified that it was not a threat for the United States nor for their allies.
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According to the Japanese Ministry of Defense, the North Korean missile fell in the exclusive economic zone of the archipelago. The flight of the ballistic device would have lasted 50 minutes, specifies the Japanese government. Prime Minister Shinzo Abe denounced a "violent act" which "cannot be tolerated". “We will never give in to any act of provocation. We will maximize our pressure” on Pyongyang, he assured the press.
For his part, US President Donald Trump was informed of the shooting while the ballistic device was still in flight. "We'll take care of it," he said. Defense Minister Jim Mattis, for his part, indicated that this shooting had reached the highest altitude of all the shootings carried out by Pyongyang and that it posed “a threat everywhere in the world”.
In the process, Japan, the United States and South Korea called for an emergency meeting of the UN Security Council, to be held on Wednesday at 21 p.m. In a statement read by his spokesperson in Washington, US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson called on the international community to "take further action" beyond the sanctions already adopted by the UN, "including the right to prohibit maritime traffic carrying goods to and from North Korea".
Hours earlier, Seoul reported signs of activity at a North Korean missile base on Tuesday. A missile-tracing radar was put into operation Monday at an unidentified North Korean base and telecom traffic has intensified, according to a government source quoted by Yonhap. "It is true that active movements have been detected at a North Korean missile base," the source said. "Signals like those spotted on Monday were detected frequently."
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The Japanese government was also on alert after detecting radio signals raising fears of a missile launch, according to the Kyodo agency. On September 3, North Korea conducted its sixth and most powerful nuclear test to date, which North Korean officials say involved an H-bomb small enough to equip a missile. On Sept. 15, less than a week after the UN adopted an eighth round of sanctions, Pyongyang fired a ballistic missile over Japan, a distance of 3700 km, according to Seoul. The absence of a missile test since September 15 had raised hopes that the tightening of UN sanctions was bearing fruit.
A verbal escalation between Washington and Pyongyang
In a September 19 speech at the United Nations, Donald Trump warned that if North Korea continued with its weapons program, the United States would have no choice but to totally destroy the country and mocked Kim Jong Un, naming him “Rocket Man” (“Rocket Man”). The North Korean president had responded by calling the US president a “mentally deranged whiner”. Present in New York for the United Nations General Assembly in September, the Minister of Foreign Affairs of North Korea, Ri Yong-ho, said his country was considering a hydrogen bomb test on an unprecedented scale over the Pacific Ocean.
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North Korea has persisted in developing its nuclear weapons and missiles despite nine rounds of Security Council sanctions since its first nuclear test in 2006. The country has also made progress in its ballistic missile program. Since Kim Jong-un took power, the country has tested two intercontinental ballistic missiles, or ICBMs, in July, the latest of which demonstrated the potential to reach the mainland United States.
Washington is applying what it calls "maximum pressure and sanctions" to prevent North Korea from reaching the stage where it would be able to deliver a nuclear warhead on its ICBMs. But Kim Jong-un maintains that his country will carry out more missile tests in the Pacific Ocean to hone its capabilities.
Source: © North Korea fires another ballistic missile