US, Japan fear North Korea’s strategic cruise missile test

The US believes that North Korea’s new missile test threatens the region, while Japan has expressed concern and is monitoring the situation.

“This operation underscores North Korea’s goal of relentlessly developing its military program, as well as showing threats against neighboring countries and the international community,” the Indo-Pacific Command said. Binh Duong of the US military issued a statement today, referring to the North Korean test of a long-range cruise missile.

The Pentagon said it is monitoring the situation and is constantly consulting with allies and partners. “The US commitment to the defense of South Korea and Japan remains unwavering,” the statement read.

North Korean cruise missile on the flight path in the photo released on September 13.  Photo: KCNA.

North Korean cruise missile on the flight path in the photo released on September 13. Photo: KCNA.

Japan’s Chief Cabinet Secretary Katsunobu Kato said Tokyo was concerned by reports that Pyongyang had successfully tested a long-range cruise missile, adding that Japan would work closely with the United States and South Korea to monitor further developments. follow.

North Korea announced it test-fired a new long-range cruise missile over the weekend, calling it a strategic weapon of great significance. The projectile traveled for 7,580 seconds following an oval and figure-eight trajectory over the territory and territorial waters of Korea, and then hit a target 1,500 km away.

According to images of the launch published in the Rodong Sinmun, the mouthpiece of the Workers’ Party of Korea, the rocket launcher is mounted on a truck chassis with five launch tubes similar to the giant artillery system used by Pyongyang. announced last year. Aerial photos show the projectile has a round, long cylindrical head with two main lift wings and three rudders at the tail, similar to many long-range cruise missile models in the world.

Experts say the new missile will significantly enhance North Korea’s offensive capabilities thanks to its long range, ability to evade radar, penetrate enemy air defenses and carry nuclear warheads. UN Security Council resolutions do not prohibit Pyongyang from testing cruise missiles.

The test launch comes just days after a large-scale military parade in Pyongyang to mark the 73rd anniversary of North Korea’s founding. This is the first time the country has test-fired a missile since March. Pyongyang has not tested a nuclear or an intercontinental ballistic missile since 2017.

North Korea is under a series of international sanctions over its nuclear and ballistic missile programs. Nuclear negotiations between North Korea and the United States have not made much progress. Sung Kim, US President Joe Biden’s special envoy for North Korea, has repeatedly expressed his willingness to meet his North Korean counterparts “anywhere, at any time”.

Vu Anh (Follow Reuters)

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