Kim Jong-un launches ‘unidentified projectile’ eastward – Japan and S. Korea on red alert

North Koreans cheer missile launch in bizarre propaganda film

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South Korea‘s Joint Chiefs of Staff (JCS) has reported that the launch was made off North Korea’s eastern coast. However, no further details were provided. Meanwhile, the Japanese coast guard believe the object was a ballistic missile.

If so, it will be Pyongyang’s 14th round of weapons firing this year.

For now, it is being dubbed an “unidentified projectile”.

One of the North Korean missiles tested recently is understood to have been an intercontinental ballistic missile potentially capable of reaching the entirety of the American homeland.

It comes after supreme leader Kim showed off his massive arsenal of weapons during a military parade last week.

He also vowed to expand the country’s nuclear capacity “at the fastest possible pace”.

Pyongyang has been stoking fears since it tested its first intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) since 2017 last month.

The JCS urged Kim to immediately deescalate tensions and stop the tests which is called a “clear” breach of UN Security Council resolutions and a “grave threat” that undermines peace.

It added: “Our military is tracking and monitoring related movements to prepare against the possibility of an additional launch, and it is maintaining a full readiness posture.”

Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida said the suspected launch threatened global peace and “absolutely cannot be condoned”.

He said that he plans to raise the issue and the importance of ensuring stability in East Asia and a “free and open” Indo-Pacific region when he holds talks with his Italian and British counterparts on Wednesday and Thursday.

The move from North Korea also comes six days before a new conservative South Korean president takes office for a single five-year term.

President-elect Yoon Suk-yeol has vowed to boost Seoul’s missile capability as well as its relationship with the US to cope with the threat.

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Military experts believe the recent beghaviour from Kim indicates his coal of applying pressure to Washington over a deepening freeze in nuclear negotiations.

They say Kim aims to use his expanded arsenal to win an international recognition of North Korea as a nuclear state.

This, apparently, could force the US to relax international economic sanctions on the North.

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