North Korea fires first suspected ICBM since 2017
North Korea has fired its first intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) in more than four years amid Western leaders meeting in Brussels for a security summit to discuss pressing geo-political tensions. The ICBM reportedly flew to an altitude of 3,700 miles and a distance of 671 miles during 71 minutes of airtime. The missile landed in waters off of Japan’s western coast on Thursday. Japan’s Defense Ministry released a report regarding the tests, which is North Korea’s 11th of the year. The latest missile test occurred on March 16, however it is believed to have failed.
According to analysts, this test could be the longest-range missile ever fired by North Korea, exceeding the last ICBM launch in 2017. On Thursday, Japan stated that its intelligence suggest that the ICBM launched this week is a new type due to its altitude and distance. This could be a potential sign that North Korea is closer to developing weapons that are capable of targeting the US. On Thursday, the US joined its allies South Korea and Japan to condemn the launch. In addition, the trio called on North Korea to refrain from such destabilizing acts.