On Monday, Japan’s Vice-Minister of Defense, Shingo Miyake, announced that North Korea successfully launched an ICBM for the first time since July.
The missile was identified as a solid-fuel Hwasong-18 that was fired from a site near the capital Pyongyang.
The flight reportedly lasted for 73 minutes and travelled at an altitude of 6,000 km (3,700 miles) before landing in the ocean east of the Korean Peninsula. It was North Korea’s second test-firing in 24 hours.
Miyake stated that the maximum potential range of the nuclear capable weapon was approximately 15,000 km (9,300 miles), making it possible to strike the continental U.S.
Observers have speculated that the reason for the provocative action was to protest the strengthening of the defense relationship between Seoul and the United States.
On Friday, a South Korean delegation met in Washington to participate in the U.S.-Republic of Korea Nuclear Consultative Group, in order to establish methods of deterrence toward North Korean President Kim Jong Un’s increasingly rogue behavior.
The USS Missouri, a nuclear-powered Virginia-class attack submarine, arrived in the South Korean port of Busan the same day as the latest disturbing action.
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