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(3rd LD) N. Korea fires IRBM over Japan: S. Korean military

10:09 October 04, 2022

(ATTN: UPDATES throughout with JCS explanation)

SEOUL, Oct. 4 (Yonhap) -- North Korea fired an intermediate-range ballistic missile (IRBM) over Japan on Tuesday in its first launch of an IRBM in eight months, according to South Korea's military.

The Joint Chiefs of Staff (JCS) said it detected the launch from Mupyong-ri in the northern province of Jagang at 7:23 a.m. and that the missile flew some 4,500 kilometers at an apogee of around 970 km at a top speed of Mach 17.

The missile flew past Japan, it added, saying the intelligence authorities of South Korea and the United States are conducting a detailed analysis to verify the specifics of the missile.

Pyongyang last fired an IRBM in January. The Hwasong 12-type missile flew some 800 kilometers at a top altitude of 2,000 km.

"The series of North Korea's ballistic missile provocations will further strengthen deterrence and the response capabilities of the South Korea-U.S. alliance and only deepen the North's isolation from the international community," the JCS said in a text message sent to reporters.

It also condemned the launch as an act of "significant" provocation that undermines peace and stability not only on the Korean Peninsula but also in the international community, and a "clear" breach of U.N. Security Council resolutions.

Soon after the launch, JCS Chairman Gen. Kim Seung-kyum and Gen. Paul LaCamera, the commander of the South Korea-U.S. Combined Forces Command, had virtual consultations and reaffirmed they would solidify the allies' combined defense posture against "any North Korean threats and provocations," according to the JCS.

The North launched one short-range ballistic missile (SRBM) on Sept. 25, then two last Wednesday, another two the following day and two on Saturday.

The latest saber-rattling came after Seoul and Washington wrapped up their naval exercise, involving the USS Ronald Reagan aircraft carrier, and a trilateral anti-submarine exercise with Japan last week.

The South, the U.S. and Japan have been reinforcing bilateral and trilateral security coordination amid concerns the North could ratchet up tensions by conducting a nuclear test or other provocative acts.

This file photo, taken Sept. 25, 2022, shows a news report on a North Korean missile launch being aired on a TV screen at Seoul Station. (Yonhap)



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