Residents warned to seek shelter as North Korea ballistic missile test fails

for Tv47 Digital November 03, 2022, 12:44 PM
North Korea ballistic missile
A new submarine-launched ballistic missile is seen during a test in this undated photo released on October 19, 2021 by North Korea's Korean Central News Agency (KCNA). PHOTO/KCNA

In Summary

  • North Korea has had several failed ICBM tests this year, according to South Korean and U.S. officials.

  • The launches came after Pyongyang demanded the United States and South Korea stop large-scale military exercises, saying such "military rashness and provocation can no longer be tolerated".

North Korea fired multiple ballistic missiles on Thursday, November 3 including a possible failed intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) that triggered an alert for residents in parts of central and northern Japan to seek shelter.

Despite an initial government warning that a missile had flown over Japan, Tokyo later said that was incorrect.

Officials in South Korea and Japan said the missile may have been an ICBM, which are North Korea's longest-range weapons, and are designed to carry a nuclear warhead to the other side of the planet.

South Korean officials believe the ICBM failed in flight, Yonhap news agency reported, without elaborating. Spokespeople for the South Korean and Japanese ministries of defence declined to confirm the possible failure.

Japanese Defence Minister Yasukazu Hamada said the government lost track of the missile over the Sea of Japan, prompting it to correct its announcement that it had flown over Japan.

Retired Vice Admiral and former Japan Maritime Self Defense Force fleet commander Yoji Koda said the loss of radar tracking on the projectile pointed to a failed launch.

"It means at some point in the flight path there was some problem for the missile and it actually came apart," he said.

Although the warhead came down in the sea between the Korean peninsula and Japan, debris would have been travelling at high speed and may still have passed over Japan, Koda added.

North Korea has had several failed ICBM tests this year, according to South Korean and U.S. officials.

The United States condemned North Korea's ICBM launch, State Department spokesman Ned Price said in a statement. "This launch is a clear violation of multiple United Nations Security Council resolutions," he said.

It also demonstrates the threat from North Korea's unlawful weapons of mass destruction and ballistic missile programmes, Price added.

The launches came after Pyongyang demanded the United States and South Korea stop large-scale military exercises, saying such "military rashness and provocation can be no longer tolerated".

It has said that a recent flurry of missile launches and other military activities were in protest against such drills.

The allies have been conducting one of the largest air exercises ever, with hundreds of South Korean and U.S. warplanes, including F-35 fighters, staging around-the-clock simulated missions.

After Thursday's ICBM launch, the allies agreed to extend the drills past Friday, when they were scheduled to end, South Korea's Air Force said in a statement.

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