North Korea on Tuesday claimed to have successfully test-fired an intermediate-range ballistic missile just days ahead of the G20 summit scheduled to take place in Hamburg, Germany, as reported by AFP. Leaders from the Group of 20 nations are due to discuss steps to rein in North Korea’s weapons programmes. As per a Reuters report, quoting South Korean and US officials, the missile flew approximately 930 km before landing in Japan’s Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) even as Tokyo strongly protested against Pyongyang’s act of aggression in what it termed as a clear violation of UN resolutions.
According to Reuters, the U.S. Pacific Command said in a statement that it had it detected and tracked the “single launch of a land-based, intermediate range ballistic missile” for at least 37 minutes near an airfield in Panghyon, which is around 100 km northwest Pyongyang, North Kora’s capital. South Korean President Moon Jae-in, who had convened a national security council meeting earlier today, claimed the missile was reportedly an intermediate range type, but didn’t rule out the possibility of it being an intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM). This is not the first time that North Korea has fired ballistic missiles, refuting several warning issued by the international community. Also Read: Hope Japan, South Korea, China end this nonsense once and for all, tweets Donald Trump
Meanwhile, Japan said the North Korean missile’s altitude was estimated at over 2,500 km, adding that it was well within the range of being an inter-continental ballistic missile. In a statement to the media, Japan’s Defence Ministry said: “The missile is estimated to have reached the altitude that greatly exceeded 2,500km, flew for about 40 minutes for 900km and landed in the Sea of Japan within our country’s exclusive economic zone (EEZ).”
US President Donald Trump had fired off a tweet in response to the launch but before the announcement, saying: “Does this guy have anything better to do with his life?” Pyongyang has had multiple sets of sanctions imposed on it over its weapons programme by the United Nations. But North Korea has repeatedly said it needs nuclear arms to defend itself against the threat of invasion.