The Democratic People’s Republic of Korea has on Friday launched an intercontinental ballistic missile test, in response to increased military activity by the United States and its allies, which Pyongyang considered as “provocations” in the region.
The South Korean military and Japanese coast guard said the DPRK appeared to have fired an intercontinental ballistic missile. According to Seoul and Tokyo, the launch failed to meet planned results.
According to Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida, the missile landed west of Hokkaido inside Japan’s exclusive economic zone. No damage to ships or aircraft had been confirmed as of Friday afternoon.
“We strongly protested to North Korea. Pyongyang is repeating provocative actions at an unprecedented pace. We strongly reiterate that this is totally unacceptable,” Kishida said.
“Japan, the United States and South Korea must coordinate closely to work towards the complete denuclearisation of North Korea,” he said.
Pyongyang said earlier in Thursday that “its military response to the joint military exercises between the United States and its allies will become more angry,” accusing them of “escalating the security crisis in the region.”
The DPRK has maintained a nuclear arsenal since 2006, as part of a deterrence strategy aimed against possible US invasion plans. The United States and several of its allies earlier invaded the Korean Peninsula in 1950 in response to Pyongyang’s attempt to unify the peninsula, resulting in an estimated 3 million civilian deaths.