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North Korea launches Intercontinental Ballistic Missile ahead of South Korea-Japan summit

Kim Jong Un reportedly ordered the test launch to give a "stronger warning to the enemies intentionally escalating the tension in the Korean peninsula."

Photo by Gary Todd on Flickr / CC0 1.0

North Korea’s Kim Jong Un directed a test launch of a two-stage ICBM on Thursday, as reported by the state-run news agency, KCNA. The launch occurred just hours before R.O.K. President Yoon met with Japan’s P.M. Kishida in Tokyo.

The North Korean state-run media agency said the launch acts as “a stronger warning to the enemies intentionally escalating the tension in the Korean peninsula” and conveys “the practical will of the Party and government of the DPRK to counterattack with overwhelming offensive measures anytime.”

“The ICBM Hwasongpho-17, launched at the Pyongyang International Airport, traveled up to a maximum altitude of 6,045km (3,756 miles) and flew a distance of 1,000.2 km for 4,151s before accurately landing on the preset area in the open waters off the East Sea of Korea,” claims the report.

Japan’s Chief Cabinet Secretary deemed the launch “a brutal act.” He stated that, along with the other recent missile launches, the act jeopardizes the safety of Japan and the whole region.

NSC Spokesperson Adrienne Watson has also condemned the launch, noting that although it does not pose an immediate threat, it “needlessly raises tensions and risks destabilizing the security situation in the region.”