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North Korea capable of reaching the United States

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Japanese television shows North Korea's missile launch, December 18, 2023.

Agence France-Presse

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North Korea on Monday tested its most advanced intercontinental ballistic missile, capable of reaching the United States. It is the latest shooting in a record series this year, which has sparked further international condemnation.

According to South Korea's launch on Monday, which followed that of a short-range missile the day before, was a solid-fuel ICBM-class missile – making it easier to transport and fire more quickly than conventional liquid fuel versions – the third after previous ones in April and July.

North Korea had said those previous missiles were Hwasong-18s, but it did not immediately comment on Monday's launch.

Japan has estimated that this missile could have the ability to fly more than 15,000 km, which would put the entire United States within its range.

The launch comes days after warnings from Seoul and Washington, which warned Pyongyang that any nuclear attack against the United States or its allies would bring about the end of the regime of Kim Jong-un, the North Korean leader. /p>LoadingData theft at Desjardins: COVID-19 “slowed down” the SQ investigation

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Following an emergency meeting of the National Security Council, Seoul strongly condemned its northern neighbor, saying it posed a serious threat to the peace and security of the Korean Peninsula and the international community.

South Korean President Yoon Suk-yeol also ordered an immediate and crushing response to any provocation from Pyongyang , as well as a joint response with the United States and Japan.

The United States also condemned the launch, with the spokesperson for the US State Department ruling in a statement that these launches constitute a violation of several resolutions of the United Nations Security Council.

We strongly condemn these shots, said Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida, saying that they represented a threat to peace and stability in the region.

The United Nations Security Council, which will meet Tuesday afternoon to discuss North Korea, has already adopted numerous resolutions calling on Pyongyang to end its nuclear and ballistic programs since its first test nuclear, in 2006.

North Korea must fully respect its international obligations, including relevant Security Council resolutions, said Stéphane Dujarric, spokesperson for the secretary-general of the United Nations (UN), after the shooting. ;essay.

On the other hand, China, a close ally of Pyongyang, did not react directly to the latest shot, instead displaying its firm support for North Korea.

In the face of international turbulence, China and [North Korea] have always firmly supported and trusted each other, Wang Yi said during a meeting in Beijing with North Korean Vice Foreign Minister Pak Myong-ho.

According to Park Won-gon, a professor of North Korean studies Koreans at Ewha University, Monday's projectile was likely a Hwasong-18.

This type of missile uses solid fuel; so there is no preparation time, and it can be fired immediately from a mobile launcher, and can be considered a system with the practical capability to strike the American continent, Mr. . Park.

However, the North is still seeking to perfect its capabilities, according to Go Myong-hyun, a researcher at the Asian Institute for Policy Studies.

When it comes to ICBMs, many technical aspects still need to be improved, including securing re-entry technology and multiple warhead technology, Go said.

The United States and South Korea participated in the second session of the Nuclear Advisory Group in Washington on Friday, focusing on nuclear deterrence in the event of conflict with the North.

And on Sunday, a spokesperson for the North Korean Defense Ministry denounced a plan by the allies to add a nuclear exercise next year to their annual joint military exercises by brandishing the threat of a preventive and deadly counterattack.

Sunday's short-range missile launch came as Pyongyang marked the death anniversary of leader Kim Jong-un's father and predecessor, Kim Jong-il, who died on December 17, 2011.

North Korea last year declared itself an irreversible nuclear power and has repeatedly said it would not give up never its nuclear program, which the regime considers essential to its survival.

Last month, North Korea succeeded in placing its first Malligyong-1 spy satellite, after two failures in May and August.

Westerners, Japan and South Korea denounced this launch, as did UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres, ruling that the use of ballistic missile technologies violated United Nations Security Council resolutions.

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