North Korea has launched an intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) capable of hitting the US mainland. Defense Minister of Japan informed this information.
The missile landed in the sea about 210 kilometers (130 miles) west of Hokkaido.
South Korean President Yoon Suk-yeol called for strong deterrence measures against North Korea.
North Korean FM Choe Son Hui on Thursday warned of a ‘harsh’ response to any increase in US military presence.
North Korea also launched a short-range ballistic missile on the same day.
The missile launch followed Sunday’s meeting between South Korean President Yoon Suk-yeol, US President Biden and Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida in Cambodia.
Biden said the three allies are more united than ever over North Korea’s provocative behavior.
North Korea has fired more than 50 missiles in the past two months, most of them short-range. These long-range launches are rare and pose a direct threat to the United States. Because the missiles are designed to carry nuclear warheads anywhere on the US mainland.
Seoul’s military chiefs said the latest ICBM was fired from North Korea’s capital, Pyongyang, at 10:15 a.m. local time.
South Korea’s military says the missile reached an altitude of 6,100 kilometers on a lofted trajectory and traveled up to 1,000 kilometers (621 miles), reaching a Mach 22 speed.
A lofted trajectory means the missile flies very high in space. Travels less distance than if fired in normal trajectory.
But Japanese Defense Minister Yasukazu Hamada said the missile has the capability to reach the United States.
Based on calculations taking into account the trajectory, the ballistic missile may have a range of 15,000 kilometers depending on the weight of this warhead. If so, it means that the US mainland was within its range,’ said Yasukazu Hamada.
“We (Pyongyang) have said that we absolutely cannot tolerate such actions,” Kishida told reporters in Thailand.
North Korea’s pattern over the past few months has been to launch missiles in response to US military activity around the Korean Peninsula.
They are developing a new type of long-range missile, the Hwasong-17, which is larger than ICBMs successfully tested in the past.
Experts believe that several attempts to launch the Hwasong-17 have failed and that the North has yet to successfully fly it.
North Korea fired an ICBM earlier this month. But the South Korean military claims it failed midway.
In October, North Korea fired a ballistic missile over Japan, its first in five years.
Pyongyang conducted six nuclear tests between 2006 and 2017 and is believed to be planning a seventh, amid void sanctions.
The country has also continued to build up its military capabilities.