North Korean communist leader Kim Jong-Un proclaimed that now “all American territory is within our reach“, after the new ballistic missile that ended its race Friday in the Sea of Japan, causing Washington and Seoul to consider “Military reaction options”.
Washington, Tokyo, Seoul, EU, and Paris immediately condemned the second shooting in a month by Pyongyang of an intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM).
The North Korean official news agency KCNA said Saturday that the ICBM shot was a success, supervised in person by Kim Jong-Un.
“All US territory is within our range of shooting (…) anywhere, anytime,” proclaimed Kim Jong-Un, quoted by the agency.
KCNA said it was an upgraded version of the Hwasong-14 ICBM, which covered 998 kilometers in 47 minutes at a maximum altitude of 3,724 meters.
US President Donald Trump said that “the United States will take the necessary measures to ensure the security of US national territory and to protect our allies from the region.”
China condemned North Korean shooting Saturday, saying it “opposes North Korea violations of UN Security Council resolutions.” At the same time, Beijing “hopes that all parties concerned will exercise caution and avoid escalating tensions”.
Soon after, US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said that “as economic supporters of North Korea’s ballistic nuclear program, China and Russia have a unique and special responsibility in increasing the threat For regional and global stability “.
In response, the United States and South Korea are conducting a military exercise using American ground-to-ground tactical missiles (ATACMS) and South Korean ballistic missiles Hyunmoo II, the US Army said on Friday.
The joint exercise took place early Saturday morning, Seoul time, shortly after the announcement by the Pentagon that US and South Korean military leaders had discussed “military reaction options.”
The Pentagon has been preparing for a long time the possibility of a conflict with North Korea, but the sharp language used is an evolution from previous public reactions after missile testing.
Previously, it was a question of criticizing the shots, but without mentioning military options for retaliation.
According to the Army, “ATACMS can be rapidly deployed and engaged, and provide deep-punch accuracy capabilities, enabling the Republic of Korea / US alliance to engage a range of targets quickly in All the climatic conditions “.
This equipment had already “fired missiles into the territorial waters of South Korea along the East Coast on July 5”, said the US military.
Action ‘reckless and dangerous’
The US president warned Friday that the North Korean tests were a “reckless and dangerous” action that would “further isolate” North Korea.
“The United States condemns this test and rejects the regime’s assertions that these tests – and these weapons – ensure the security of North Korea.” In fact, they do have the opposite effect, “said Trump In a statement, a few hours after the shooting.
“By threatening the world, these weapons and tests further isolate North Korea, weaken its economy and impoverish its population,” Trump said.
So far, the US strategy – whether it’s the Donald Trump administration or the Barack Obama administration – has not paid off: despite a strengthening of international sanctions at the UN and Pressures on China, the main ally of North Korea, the regime of leader Kim Jong-Un continued its military ballistic and nuclear programs.
This launch by Pyongyang comes after the first successful test on July 4, the day of the Independence Day of the United States, of a first intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) likely to reach the northwest of the United States, in Particularly Alaska.
In Japan, one of the countries most exposed to the North Korean threat, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe announced a meeting of his National Security Council.
The “ballistic missile fell in our exclusive economic zone, in the Sea of Japan”. There has been no “damage to boats or planes,” the Prime Minister spokesman said.
South Korean President Moon Jae-In also convened an emergency meeting of his national security team.
The European Union condemned the new shooting as “seriously threatening international peace and security” as a “flagrant violation of North Korea’s international obligations”.
France, for its part, called for “the rapid adoption of additional and strong sanctions” by the UN Security Council.