north korea missile launch japan

north korea missile launch japan

north korea missile launch japan

North Korea announced its third launch attempt this year, claiming to have successfully placed a spy satellite named Malligyong-1 into orbit. The U.S. and its allies, including South Korea and Japan, condemned the launch as it violates U.N. bans on North Korea conducting satellite launches, considering them covers for missile technology tests. Despite skepticism about the satellite’s military capabilities, North Korea’s National Aerospace Technology Administration insists it enhances the country’s self-defense against perceived threats, with leader Kim Jong Un overseeing the launch.

north korea missile launch japan
image credit: japantimes.co.

The U.S. strongly condemned the launch, citing its potential to destabilize the regional security situation. South Korea threatened to suspend a 2018 inter-Korean tension-reduction agreement, while Japan protested strongly, viewing the launch as a serious threat to its people. The rocket’s trajectory over Okinawa prompted Japan to issue a missile warning.

The launch follows North Korea’s earlier failed attempts this year, with delays attributed to potential Russian technological assistance. The alleged cooperation between North Korea and Russia, both facing isolation, includes speculation of an arms deal involving conventional weapons and nuclear assistance. Despite denials from Russia and North Korea, concerns persist about potential violations of U.N. weapons trading bans.

The international community remains alarmed, viewing the launch as part of North Korea’s broader strategy prioritizing military capabilities over economic development. The successful satellite launch raises questions about its actual reconnaissance functions and the extent of Russian involvement, highlighting North Korea’s focus on aligning with Russia and China rather than pursuing diplomacy with the United States.

South Korean President Yoon Suk Yeol sees the successful launch as an indication of North Korea’s improved intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) capabilities. The launch could lead to the suspension of the 2018 inter-Korean deal, with South Korea preparing for possible provocations from North Korea.

Despite North Korea being under 11 rounds of U.N. sanctions, the likelihood of fresh sanctions in response to the recent launch is considered low, given Russia and China’s opposition to a U.N. Security Council response. North Korea’s previous satellite launches in May and August used the same rocket and satellite, with the first attempt resulting in a crash and the second citing an error in the emergency blasting system.

The Malligyong-1 satellite, believed to detect significant targets like warships or planes, aligns with Kim Jong Un’s aspirations to enhance North Korea’s weapons arsenal, including more mobile ICBMs, nuclear-powered submarines, and multi-warhead missiles. In response, the U.S. and South Korea have intensified military exercises and deployed assets like the USS Carl Vinson aircraft carrier to demonstrate strength against North Korea.

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