North Korea’s communist regime has fired four ballistic missiles that landed in the sea near the northwest coast of Japan.
The missiles reportedly flew about 1,000 km, reaching a maximum height of 260 km.
According to Japanese Defense Minister Tomomi Inada, the closest missiles landed 300 km off the coast of Japan’s Oga Peninsula.
Japan’s Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said the missile launch “shows North Korea has entered a new stage of threat.”
South Korea does not believe the missiles were intercontinental ballistic missiles, though there is growing fear that North Korea is close to developing ICBM’s that could massively expand the reach of their nuclear weapons. US President Donald Trump has vowed North Korea will never get ICBM’s – a promise which could require US military action to uphold.
Both the United States and South Korea are analyzing the missile launch according to South Korea’s Joint Chiefs of Staff.
North Korea has said the launch was retaliation for South Korea and the United States engaging in military drills, though those drills take place every year.
US State Department Condemns North Korea Missile Launch
The US State Department issued a statement regarding the incident:
The United States strongly condemns the DPRK’s ballistic missile launches tonight, which violate U.N. Security Council Resolutions explicitly prohibiting North Korea’s launches using ballistic missile technology. We remain prepared — and will continue to take steps to increase our readiness — to defend ourselves and our allies from attack, and are prepared to use the full range of capabilities at our disposal against this growing threat.”
In response to repeated threats and aggression from North Korea, the US will be deploying a missile defense system to defend South Korea, and Japan is increasing their missile defenses as well.
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