The suspected ICBM flew to an altitude of 6,000 km (3,728 miles), and landed in waters off Japan’s west coast on Thursday, according to Japan’s Defense Ministry.
Japan’s Deputy Defense Minister Makoto Oniki told reporters on Thursday that the spike indicated it was “a new type of ICBM.” Oniki said the missile landed inside Japan’s exclusive economic zone, 170 km west of Cape Tapi at the northern tip of Japan’s main island of Honshu.
World leaders will meet Thursday in the Belgian capital at what has been described as an extraordinary NATO summit, as they seek to harmonize their responses to Russia’s brutal invasion of Ukraine. The meeting of the European Council and the Group of Seven will also take place on Thursday.
According to analysts, the recent wave of North Korean missile tests indicates that the country’s leader, Kim Jong Un, is trying to show an increasingly turbulent world that Pyongyang remains a player in the struggle for power and influence.
“By threatening to destabilize Asia while global resources are tight elsewhere, Pyongyang is demanding that the world pay it to act like a ‘responsible nuclear power,'” Leif Eric Easley, associate professor of international studies at Ewa Woman University in Seoul, told CNN. In January of this year.
The US Indo-Pacific Command announced earlier this month that the US is ramping up “intelligence-gathering, readiness, and surveillance activities” related to North Korea in the wake of the latest wave of missile launches.
The move is a signal from the Biden administration that it needs to bolster its military posture to ensure that the United States and its allies in the region such as South Korea and Japan are protected from North Korean missile tests.
The command said that it “ordered to intensify intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance activities in the Yellow Sea, as well as to enhance readiness among the ballistic missile defense forces in the region.”
Last week, the US military conducted exercises in and around the Korean peninsula to show its readiness in the wake of North Korean activity, including simulating ballistic missile defense systems.
The US Army’s 35th Air Defense Brigade has moved to a remote location, “occupying its wartime defensive position, erecting a Patriot missile system and carrying out air and missile defense operations in a simulated combat scenario,” US Forces Korea said in a press release.
At sea, F-35 and F/A-18 fighter jets flew off the aircraft carrier USS Abraham Lincoln along with U.S. Air Force assets stationed in the region in a show of force in the Yellow Sea off the west coast of South Korea, according to a statement. Issued by the US Navy’s Seventh Fleet in Japan.
This story has been updated to clarify the location of the missile.