US condemns North Korea missile launch

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The missile, launched by the Academy of Defence Science on Wednesday, manoeuvred 120 km laterally before it precisely hit a target 700 km away, which proved the reliability of a new fuel system…reports Asian Lite News

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken held a telephone call with Japanese Foreign Minister Hayashi Yoshimasa and discussed North Korea’s latest ballistic missile launch as well as reaffirmed the United States’ commitment to defend Japan, State Department spokesperson Ned Price said.

“Secretary of State Antony J. Blinken spoke today with Japanese Minister for Foreign Affairs Hayashi Yoshimasa,” Price said in a press release on Wednesday.

“Secretary Blinken condemned the DPRK’s (North Korea’s) ballistic missile launch and stressed US commitment to the defence of Japan remains ironclad.”

Xinhua News Agency citing the official Korean Central News Agency reported on Thursday that the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) has successfully test-fired a hypersonic missile.

The missile, launched by the Academy of Defence Science on Wednesday, manoeuvred 120 km laterally before it precisely hit a target 700 km away, which proved the reliability of a new fuel system, the report said.

This is the second test fire of hypersonic missile confirmed by the DPRK after the country launched Hwasong-8 in September.

The “successive successes in the test launches” in the hypersonic missile sector “have strategic significance in that they hasten a task for modernizing strategic armed force of the state,” it added.

The reliability of the fuel system under the winter weather conditions was also verified, the report said.

The latest saber-rattling came just days after the North concluded a five-day Central Committee plenary of the ruling Workers’ Party on Friday, highlighting its key focus on economic issues and its pandemic response.

At the plenary, participants stressed the importance of boosting their country’s defence capabilities, pointing to the growing instability of the security situation on the Korean Peninsula.

North Korean leader Kim Jong-un did not issue any particular messages for the South or the US at the gathering, but the latest launch appears aimed partially at raising the stakes for future talks with the allies, analysts said.

Wednesday’s launch could also be part of the North’s wintertime drills, some observers said.

The launch came amid expectations the North could refrain from major strategic provocations that could undermine the mood for peace in the lead-up to the Beijing Winter Olympics slated for next month. (ANI/Xinhua/IANS)

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