Sending a warning to the US-South Korea, North Korea launches the Hwasong 15 ICBM. Photo/NK News
SEOUL – North Korea (North Korea) confirmed it had fired intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) last weekend. However, what was launched was not the Hwasong-17 ballistic missile.
North Korea said it fired a Hwasong-15 intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) at a high angle in a “spurious launch” exercise aimed at ensuring the country’s strong nuclear deterrent.
“The drills were suddenly held without prior notice under the emergency weapons combat alert order given at dawn on February 18,” North Korea’s KCNA news agency said in an English-language report.
“The missile was launched at the international airport in Pyongyang in the afternoon, with one unit from the Missile General Bureau mobilized,” the report continued as reported by Yonhap, Sunday (19/2/2023).
According to KCNA, the missile flew 989 kilometers for 4,015 seconds at a peak of 5,768.5 km and landed in international waters of the East Sea.
It marked North Korea’s first ICBM launch since firing the Hwasong-17 ICBM in November last year.
Read: North Korea Fires Long-Range Ballistic Missiles into the East Sea
According to KCNA, North Korea cited the military threats from the United States and South Korea, which are getting more and more serious that they cannot be ignored, and ordered all military units in charge of missile operations to strictly maintain a combat readiness posture.
North Korea’s latest missile launch, its second missile provocation this year, came after warning Friday that the country would take “persistent and strong” countermeasures if Seoul and Washington pushed ahead with their plans for joint military exercises.
The two allies are scheduled to conduct tabletop exercises at the Pentagon next week against North Korea’s potential use of nuclear weapons. They also plan to hold regular Freedom Shield (FS) exercises in the spring of next month, along with large-scale field exercises.
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