U.S. Defense Department spokesman John Kirby said in Washington on Thursday (local time) that after inspecting the missiles in late February and early March, a new intercontinental ballistic missile system is believed to be involved in North Korea’s development. The tests would not have taken place in full swing. The purpose may be to “evaluate this new system before conducting a full-scale test in the future”.
After the tests on February 26 and March 4, North Korea talked about preparations for a spy satellite. This is the ninth round test this year. A U.S. government official has said that if North Korea conducts a full test of the new ICPM, Pyongyang is likely to disprove it as a space missile. According to US estimates, the new system was first unveiled at a military parade in October 2020.
“Increase” causes obstacles
A senior U.S. official called the tests a “serious increase” by North Korea. “These launches are a shameful violation of several UN Security Council resolutions.” In response, the US Treasury Department will announce “additional sanctions” against North Korea this Friday.
The U.S. Indo-Pacific Command this week ordered an increase in intelligence operations in the Yellow Sea – as well as increased readiness of ballistic missile defense forces in the region.
North Korea wants to become a space power
According to the state news agency KCNA, North Korean leader Kim Jong Un has called for the expansion of the ICBM launch pad to “modern and advanced missile base” with the aim of becoming a space power.
This is because the head of state visited the Sohe satellite launch site, which has been used to test rockets in the past, which, according to South Korean and US experts, requires technology similar to ICBMs.
This image, provided by the North Korean government, shows President Kim Jong Un carrying the Hwasong-15 missile
North Korea last tested ICBM in November 2017. According to experts, the tested Hwasong-15 rocket could reach the entire territory of the United States. As a result, North Korea withdrew from further testing of ICBMs.
Diplomatic attacks on North Korean leader Kim Jong Un and then US President Donald Trump have not had definite consequences. Negotiations between Pyongyang and Washington have been stalled since the talks broke down in 2019. Internationally, the Communist country is largely isolated.
Pentagon spokesman Kirby urged the international community to unanimously oppose North Korea’s development and proliferation of such weapons. At the same time, he criticized the government’s secrecy about these developments in Pyongyang.
The international community has already imposed severe sanctions on Pyongyang over North Korea’s nuclear weapons and missile program. The announcement of new US sanctions comes shortly after the victory of conservative opposition candidate Eun-sook Yool in South Korea’s presidential election. The 61-year-old former attorney general threatened an early attack on North Korea during the election campaign.
mak / ack (dpa, rtr, afp)
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