With this launch, North Korea has reversed a commitment it made spontaneously in 2017.
The global situation remains particularly tense at the moment; the pressure has still not died down since the invasion of Ukraine by Russia, and there are very few signs of easing. Yesterday, it was North Korea that added its own grain of salt to this bubbling geopolitical cauldron by launching an intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) that hit the maritime space belonging to Japan.
According to ABC which relays a communication from the Japanese authorities, the missile in question would have flown approximately 71 minutes up to an altitude of around 6000 meters. It would have hit the ocean about 1000km further on, right in the middle of the exclusive economic zone from Japan. According to the same source, it was a “new guy” of ICBM dubbed Hwasong-17.
One “outrageous act” condemned internationally
With this launch, Kim Jong-un’s country has broken with the course of action it has imposed on itself since 2017, the date of the last ICBM launch by North Korea. The country then announced that it would end its tests of long-range military equipment, starting with these famous ICBMs.
The reactions were not long in coming. It started with Japan, directly targeted by this show of force. The Prime Minister denounced a “scandalous and unforgivable act”. He believes that by doing so, North Korea “threatens the peace and security of Japan, the region and the international community”, according to comments reported by theAFP.
Same story from the side of South Korean President Moon Jae-in, who immediately denounced a “rupture” from “President Kimg Jong-un’s promise to the international community”. Also according to AFP, the Korean army also responded with several symbolic missile launches.
The reaction was much the same from the side of the United Nations; the institution denounces a “new breach” which constitutes a “clear violation of UN security sun resolutions”. “The launch of ICBM represents a significant risk of escalating tensions in the region”, warns its director Antonio Guterres. The latter also urged the country to respect its commitments, and to suspend these tests once and for all.
Several discrete shots in the space of a few months
This is not the first time that the Korean troublemaker has distinguished himself in this way in recent months. Reuters recalls that on January 19, the administration of Kim Jong-un announced that it “planned to resume all suspended activities”, invoking a strategy of defense against the United States.
The news agency also recalls that Pyongyang has already launched 11 missiles since the beginning of the year. For the moment, however, it was not about intercontinental missiles as was the case on Thursday March 24th.
It will therefore be advisable to keep an eye on the side of the two Koreas in the months to come. It is not excluded that the tensions start to rise again in this sector, in an already tense context where Europe and the world are unable to extract themselves from the quagmire caused by the invasion of Ukraine.