North Korea is launching a missile over Japan as a violation of the sovereignty: a case study on the East Asian Non-proliferation Program
There are also other missile tests to watch. Lewis said that North Korea also has three intercontinental missiles capable of flying over Japan, but they have not been tested to their full range yet.
The longest duration and altitude of any North Korean missile ever tested was recorded by that launch. The missile flew a maximum altitude of 3,905 miles, and a travel distance of 1,090 kilometers, according to a report from the Korean Central News Agency. The flight time was 68 minutes, the report added.
It was North Korea’s first missile launch in eight days and came five days after South Korea said it detected the North Korean drones, all presumed to be small surveillance drones, south of the border.
“This is a missile that North Korea started testing in 2017 … Jeffrey Lewis, director of the East Asia Non-proliferation Program, said that it was not a new missile.
However, Lewis emphasized, such risks are statistically low, especially that far out in the Pacific and that high above Japan as it flew overhead. Mostly, it’s an escalation simply because “it’s provocative to fire a missile over your neighbor.”
Hirokazu Matsuno, a Japanese government spokesman, said there was no damage after the missile landed west of Oshima island. Oshima lies off the western coast of the northernmost main island of Hokkaido.
In the past, US planes have been grounded as a ‘precaution’ following North Korean missile launches. And in late November 2017, several commercial jet pilots were reported to have seen what appeared to be the re-entry of a North Korean missile as it approached the Sea of Japan.
Lewis felt that it felt like a violation of the Japanese’s sovereignty. We would have a fit if Russia launched a missile over Florida.
Robert Ward, senior fellow for Japanese Security Studies at the International Institute for Strategic Studies, pointed to the multiple security threats faced by Japan, from an aggressive Russia to its north and China to its south.
North Korea’s latest missile launch as a test of nuclear capability and negotiating power: South Korea is prepared to fight U.S. hostility
Lewis said that North Korea will likely continue developing weapons until they are satisfied with that and that they will probably express an interest in talking again.
Earlier this month, North Korean state media broke six months of silence over this year’s spate of missile tests, claiming they were meant to demonstrate Pyongyang’s readiness to fire tactical nuclear warheads at potential targets in the South.
Joseph Dempsey, research associate for defense and military analysis at the International Institute for Strategic Studies, added that Tuesday’s flight path could just make for a better test.
Kim’s moves are in line with the broad direction of his nuclear program. He vowed to increase the quality and quantity of his arsenal in order to fight U.S. hostility. Kim’s push to produce more nuclear and weapons is seen by some experts as a signal for him to continue a run of weapons tests, solidify his negotiating power and get more outside concessions.
North Korea is also pushing to acquire its first military surveillance satellite. Earlier this month, North Korea said it used two old missiles as space launch vehicles to test a camera and other systems needed for a spy satellite and later released low-resolution satellite photos showing South Korean cities.
The main course is still to come, he said. “I would expect that when North Korea has more confidence in one of their ICBMs, they might fly one of those to full range over Japan.”
If China holds a high-profile Communist Party Congress later this month, Kim might wait until after then, according to Schuster and Lankov.
The test was seen as a challenge to South Koreas effort to improve ties with Japan and strengthen its alliance with the United States. The missile traveled over three thousand miles, making it the longest distance ever traveled by a North Korean missile.
The office of South Korean President Yoon Suk Yeol said his national security director, Kim Sung-han, presided over an emergency security meeting where members accused the North of escalating regional tensions. They denounced North Korea for accelerating its nuclear arms development despite signs of worsening economic problems and food insecurity, saying such actions would bring only tougher international sanctions.
“Our nuclear combat forces … proved again their full preparedness for actual war to bring the enemies under their control,” Kim said in comments reported by KCNA.
Tuesday’s missile launch by North Korea was the latest in a series of recent events that have ratcheted up the tension between Pyongyang and the U.S. and its East Asian allies. The United States, South Korea and Japan held their first trilateral anti-submarine drills in five years last week. After South Korean and US warships conduct bilateral exercises for four days, it followed. The naval aircraft carrier Ronald Reagan was involved in two military drills this week.
Tuesday’s North Korean launch put U.S. military bases in Guam within reach. The U.S. government condemned the launch and National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan called his Japanese and South Korean counterparts to coordinate a response, the White House said.
The provocations, including drone incursions, seem excessive for deterrence and may be intended to scare South Korea into taking a softer policy. Kim is threatening to produce nuclear weapons and is likely to further increase South Korea’s defense capabilities and readiness.
“It’s a very paranoid regime – (Kim) is as worried about the people under him as he is worried about regime change from the outside,” said Schuster. With the tests, Kim, is telling his own senior people, “We can deal with whatever the threat the West, the US and South Korea can come up with,” he said.
The United States and the South Korea Air Joint Response to the North Korean Launch on Oct. 5, 2020: a critical blow to the peace and stability of the Korean Peninsula
On Tuesday, the US and Japan also conducted a joint response to the North Korean launch, with US Marine Corps and Japan Air Self-Defense Force fighter jets flying over the Sea of Japan, also known as the East Sea.
A surface-to-surface missile is fired into the sea off the east coast in this handout picture provided by the Defense Ministry, South Korea, October 5, 2022.
The statement by the South Korean Joint Chiefs stated that the missiles were included in Wednesday’s launch. Army Tactical Missile Systems can fly up to 200 miles and have a range of up to320 kilometers.
Launching them so close to South Korean territory could be seen as an area denial strategy that blocks the combined forces of the US and South Korea from approaching North Korea.
There is no plan in place for North Korea to be taken to the negotiating table and denuclearization at this point in time.
The aggressive acceleration in weapons testing has sparked alarm in the region, with the US, South Korea and Japan responding with missile launches and joint military exercises.
Then the Covid-19 pandemic hit, pushing North Korea further into isolation. The country sealed its borders, with foreign diplomats and aid workers fleeing in huge numbers. During this time, the number of missile launches also remained low – just four in 2020 and eight in 2021.
It might be the right time for it, since Kim declared victory against Covid in August, and a new US administration has focused on shows of unity with South Korea.
Political considerations have meant that North Korean engineers and generals have not been able to test their toys for quite a few years.
“They want to remind the world that they should not be ignored, that they exist and their engineers are working around the clock to develop both nuclear weapons and delivery systems,” said Lankov.
The JCSD said that the launches of missiles by North Korea were a serious provocation that harms the peace and stability of the Korean Peninsula and the international community.
Wednesday marked the 26th missile test of either cruise or ballistic missiles by the Kim regime this year, according to a CNN count, though analysts stressed that the KCNA reports should be treated with caution as North Korean state media had previously overstated the success of such launches.
Lankov said that Russia’s invasion of Ukraine may have also boosted Kim’s confidence because “it demonstrated that if you have nuclear weapons, you can have almost impunity. And if you don’t have nuclear weapons, you’re in trouble.”
Despite the US and its allies’ quick military response this past week, experts say there’s little they can do to stop or prepare for North Korea’s weapons tests.
The recent naval drills between the U.S. and South Korean forces involved the nuclear-powered aircraft carrier, Ronald Reagan, which was first time in five years.
In South Korea, North Korea isn’t using nuclear missiles: The president of the United States will not engage with China unless it threatens to destroy it
The North doesn’t have widespread use of technology that facilitates economic and societal advances, but it does have opportunities to glean information for the intelligence services of the US and its allies.
“Since so much of what North Korea does is driven by the leader himself, you really have to get inside his head, and that’s a hard intelligence problem,” said Chris Johnstone, a senior adviser at the Center for Strategic and International Studies.
The US Ambassador to the UN, Linda Thomas-Greenfield told CNN that the UN would be putting pressure on China and Russia to improve and enhance the sanctions against North Korea.
The law also demonstrated North Korea’s hopes of strengthening its ties with China and Russia, said Yang Moo-jin, a professor at the University of North Korean Studies in Seoul.
An Army Tactical Missile System is fired during a joint training session between the United States and South Korea, on October 5 at an undisclosed location.
Since its last report of a missile launch in March, North Korea’s state-run media has made no mention of missile launches.
The meeting of the party elite is the most significant event on the Chinese political calendar – especially so this year, with Chinese leader Xi Jinping expected to be appointed to a third term in power, further cementing his status as the most powerful Chinese leader in decades.
Kim “depends too much on Chinese aid to keep his country afloat,” meaning he can’t afford to “do anything to detract from the Party Congress,” said Schuster. He won’t cause them problems even though China can’t dictate what he must do.
“North Korea has multiple motivations for publishing a high-profile missile story now,” said Leif-Eric Easley, a professor at Ewha University in Seoul. Kim Jong Un’s public appearance after a monthlong absence provides a patriotic headline to mark the founding anniversary of the ruling Workers’ Party.
Three days later they put a tactical nuclear warhead on a missile that was to be used in South Korea in the event of war.
The North’s state-run agency said the actions were in response to the live-fire drills that took place in South Korea.
In March, South Korea conducted its first successful launch of a solid-fuel rocket, and defense officials said Friday’s launch was a follow-up test to the earlier launch. Friday’s unannounced launch triggered a brief public scare of a UFO appearance or a North Korean missile firing in South Korea.
The North’s public launch of a missile from under an inland reservoir was also the first of its kind, though it has previously test-launched missiles from a submarine.
Kim said that North Korea wants to make it harder for enemies to detect its missile liftoffs in advance, and conduct strikes if necessary.
The detonation of the missile’s warhead, presumably a dummy one, was confirmed by the North Korean authorities when it flew above the sea target.
North Korea released a slew of photos on the launches. Kim and his wife Ri Sol Ju were shown frowning while wearing field jackets by a one of them. Ri was likely the first woman to observe a weapons launch with her husband, as some observers say the image indicated.
Kim said the U.S. and the South Korean regime’s steady, intentional and irresponsible acts of escalating the tension will invite our greater reaction.
Pyongyang’s 77th Birthday Announcement on Monday criticized as a Nuclear Test by South Korean and Japanese Forces
“What I find notable is that these launches are not framed as tests of the missiles themselves, but rather of the units that launch them. That suggests these systems are deployed,” Lewis said on Twitter.
Camp Humphreys is the largest US military installation outside of the United States, with a population of over 36,000 US service members, workers, contractors, and family members.
Leif-Eric Easley, associate professor of international studies at Ewha Womans University in Seoul, said Pyongyang had “multiple motivations” for making an announcement Monday.
Besides providing a “patriotic headline” for domestic consumption on the 77th anniversary of its ruling party, “it is making explicit the nuclear threat behind its recent missile launches,” Easley said.
“The KCNA report may also be harbinger of a forthcoming nuclear test for the kind of tactical warhead that would arm the units Kim visited in the field,” he said.
Kim further emphasized that Pyongyang will thoroughly monitor enemies’ military movements and “strongly take all military countermeasures” if needed, KCNA stated.
A statement from the US Navy’s Task Force 70 says that a US Navy aircraft carrier strike group played a part in various exercises with South Korean and Japanese units.
The commander of Task Force 70/Carrier Strike Group 5 said that they have flexibility and can move the strike group to where needed.
Japan’s Joint Staff said the security environment around Japan was becoming “increasingly severe” and that drills with the US Navy were strengthening the alliance’s capability to respond to threats.
The KCNA report claimed the cruise missiles tested Wednesday flew oval and figure-8 patterns for almost three hours above the sea before hitting their target.
Joint Forces of the South and North Koreans: Military Disarmament and Artillery Development Efforts as the Cold War Fails
“It is worth remembering that the details of these reports cannot be trusted,” said Leif-Eric Easley, associate professor of international studies at Ewha Womans University in Seoul. “The Kim regime is sometimes surprisingly transparent about weapons development goals, but it also tends to exaggerate strength and capabilities.”
Kim Dong-yub, a professor at the University of North Korean Studies in Seoul, said North Korean missile tests show a progressing program even if current strengths are exaggerated.
A cruise missile is powered by a jet engine, stays inside Earth’s atmosphere during its flight and is maneuverable with control surfaces similar to an airplane’s.
Cruise missiles have smaller payloads than ballistic missiles, so would require a smaller nuclear warhead than a missile designed to hit the mainland United States, such as an intercontinental ballistic missile.
Territorial politics should not prevent policymakers from increasing international coordination on military deterrence and economic sanctions against Korea, he said.
New tensions are flaring between the Koreas, with the North flying warplanes near their shared border and launching the latest in a series of missiles and the South holding a live-fire artillery drill.
At one point the North’s aircraft were just 12 kilometers (7.5 miles) from the northern limit of the Military Demarcation Line that runs down the center of the Demilitarized Zone separating the two Koreas, the JCS said.
The South Korean Air Force stated in a statement that Washington and Seoul agreed to extend those large-scale exercises to an unknown date, due to their need to demonstrate a solid combined defense posture of the bilateral alliance.
The sanctions target 15 individuals who “contributed to bringing supplies related to the funding of North Korea’s weapons of mass destruction and missile development,” South Korea’s Foreign Ministry said in a news release.
The missiles were fired from the county in eastern North Korea at 12:14 pm and flew for 142 miles, according to the statement by South Korea.
The US is expected to send the F-35B stealth jet for training in South Korea next week.
United States and South Korea are monitoring the Viglant Storm drills, which took place on Monday evelopment, with Secretary of State Rafael Grossi
The head of the UN’s nuclear watchdog said that everyone is holding its breath about a potential North Korean test which could provide more confirmation of a program which is moving full steam ahead.
We’re following this very closely. We hope it doesn’t happen but indications unfortunately go in another direction,” said IAEA Director-General Rafael Grossi.
The joint exercises, named “Vigilant Storm,” began on Monday and involve 240 aircraft and “thousands of service members” from both countries, according to the US Defense Department.
Some people took shelter in two countries, South Korea and Japan, as a result of the projectiles, which included a suspected intercontinental missile.
It could, at least theoretically, put the entire US mainland in range of a North Korean nuclear warhead, but there’s a lot of unknowns about the missile’s capability to deliver a nuclear payload on target.
It followed that test on Sunday. North Korea said both Saturday’s and Sunday’s tests were of a 600mm multiple-launch rocket (MRL) system. Most multiple-rocket launch systems in service around the world are around 300mm in size.
“And the region where the North Korean missile fell,” he adds, “has many fishing boats catching squid,” suggesting that it could put South Koreans’ livelihoods at risk, and “pose existential threat to South Korea, if need be.”
The B-1Bs participated in the joint drills to demonstrate the readiness of the allies to respond to North Korean provocations, according to South Korea’s Joint Chiefs of Staff.
South Korea’s military on Monday scrambled warplanes and helicopters, but they failed to shoot down any of the North Korean drones before they flew back home or vanished from South Korean radar. One of the North Korean drones traveled as far as northern Seoul. That caused security jitters among many people in the South, for which the military offered a rare public apology Tuesday.
“We’ve said before these kinds of activities are destabilizing to the region potentially. Austin called on them to cease that type of activity and engage in serious dialogue.
The Security Council is scheduled to hold a meeting on Friday regarding the recent missile launches by North Korea. The US Mission to the UN, the UK, France, Albania, Ireland, and Norway had called for an open meeting.
In an interview with CNN, the US Ambassador to the UN, Linda Thomas-Greenfield, criticized North Korea and said that they had broken multiple Security Council resolutions.
Thomas-Greenfield said the UN would be “putting pressure” on China and Russia to improve and enhance such sanctions. She declined to say whether US President Joe Biden would raise sanctions with China’s President Xi at the G20 but said it was “on the President’s mind.”
North Korea’s Vigilant Storm and its Tests of Intermediate-Radius Intercontinental Missile Technologies: South Korea Against North Korea
The military displays of the US are frowned upon by North Korea. The B-1B was switched from a strategic bomber to a conventional weapon in the mid 1990s.
Vigilant Storm had been initially scheduled to end Friday, but the allies decided to extend the training to Saturday in response to a series of North Korean ballistic launches on Thursday, including an ICBM that triggered evacuation alerts and halted trains in northern Japan.
South Korea still flew three of its surveillance drones across the border on Monday in an unusual tit-for-tat step against a North Korean provocation. South Korea on Thursday staged large-scale military drills to simulate shooting down drones.
South Korean President Yoon Suk Yeol has called for boosting his country’s air defense network and vowed to sternly deal with provocations by North Korea.
On Friday, the South Korean government launched a rocket that it hopes will be able to put a spy satellite into space in the future.
South Korea currently has no military reconnaissance satellites of its own and depends on U.S. spy satellites to monitor strategic facilities in North Korea.
Some South Korean experts said that the North Korean satellite imagery was too crude for military use and that it is a test of the North Koreans’ missile technology. Infuriated over such an assessment, Kim Yo Jong, the powerful sister of North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, issued crude insults against unidentified South Korean experts. She said she will conduct a standard-trajectory ICBM test if there is doubts over North Korea’s intercontinental missile technology.
North Korea and the 2016 Politburo Meeting: The New Year’s Resolution Problem and the Status of the U.S. Joint Forces
The North’s state media reported that the Politburo decided to finish the draft resolution of the meeting after seeing that the meeting was winding down.
Some observers said that North Korea will likely publish information on the meeting on Sunday, which will carry Kim’s vows to increase his nuclear arsenal and introduce advanced weapons to deal with what he calls U.S. hostility.
The 600mm MRL was first introduced three years ago, and production has been increased since late October of 2022 for deployment, Kim said in his speech to the plenary session on Saturday, according to KCNA. The 600mm MRL will be deployed simultaneously to the military.
The Ewha University professor said there have been occasions when North Korea has demonstrated its ability to perform military strikes.
The DABA said last month it will spend over two billion dollars over the next decade to strengthen the ability of its fighters to respond to a potential North Korean attack.
Washington is not standing still. The US military activated its first Space Force command on foreign soil in South Korea to respond to any threat in the region as well as putting assets like F-22 fighters and B-1 bombers into the exercises around the Korean Peninsula.
The new unit “will be tasked with coordinating space operations and services such as missile warning, position navigation and timing and satellite communications within the region,” according to US Forces Korea.
Ankit Panda, a nuclear policy expert at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, told CNN in mid-December that Pyongyang has emerged as a missile power.
“Kim’s comments from the party meeting reads like an ambitious — but perhaps achievable — New Year’s resolution list,” said Soo Kim, a security analyst at the California-based RAND Corporation. It’s ambitious in that Kim chose to spell out his aims, but it is also indicative of confidence on Kim’s part.
“The new year started but our security situation is still very grave,” South Korean President Yoon Suk Yeol told top military officers during a video conference. Our military must punish any provocations by the enemy with a firm determination that we can fight a battle.
Panda says the reference to a new ICBM seems to concern a solid-propellant system. He said a satellite launch could take place in April, during a key state anniversary.
The details of the test flight of the Hwasong 17intercontinental missile were similar to what experts said could allow it to reach the U.S. mainland.
The White House National Security Council said the missile launch could cause a security crisis in the region.
The unprecedented number of missiles underscored a continuation of expansion of his country’s military capabilities despite limited resources while negotiations with Washington remain stalemated.
According to experts, the new missiles may be linked to the North’s desire to acquire a solid-fuel ICBM. Liquid propellants used to power North Korea’s existing ICBMs need pre-launch injections, which can be difficult for a long time. Solid fuel alternatives are easier to move around on cars and take less time to prepare.
South Korea and the U.S. will also hold a one-day tabletop exercise next week at the Pentagon to sharpen a response to a potential use of nuclear weapons by North Korea.
In December of 2010, Japan adopted a new national security strategy that includes missiles and preemptive strikes to counter growing threats from North Korea, China, and Russia.