North Korea fires ballistic missile, Japan and South Korea report, in 13th launch this year


North Korea fired a ballistic missile into the Sea of ​​Japan on Wednesday, marking yet another launch since leader Kim Jong-un warned of “preemptive” use of nuclear weapons.

South Korea’s Joint Chiefs of Staff determined that the North Korean government launched the missile from Sunana district in Pyongyang.

The missile fell into the waters just outside Japan’s Exclusive Economic Zone after flying over a distance of about 500 kilometers (310 miles) at a maximum altitude of about 800 kilometers (497 miles), according to Japanese Deputy Defense Minister Makoto Oniki.

The US military released a statement denouncing the test while appealing to the North Korean government to stop actions that may destabilize the region.

“While we have assessed that this event does not pose an immediate threat to US personnel, territory, or that of our allies, we will continue to monitor the situation,” read the statement.

On the day of the attack, Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida met with Pope Francis for a half-hour private meeting at the Vatican. While the meeting also marked the 80th anniversary of diplomatic relations between Japan and the Holy See, the majority of the discussions revolved around the proliferation of nuclear weapons.

In a statement, the Holy See noted: “During the cordial talks in the Secretariat of State, satisfaction was expressed at the bilateral collaboration, evoking the 80th anniversary of diplomatic relations. In this context, the contribution of the Catholic Church in many sectors of The Japanese society was noted and appreciated. ”

The recent launch was North Korea’s 13th test of the year, including the reports failed missile test on March 16 and an intercontinental ballistic missile test on March 24.

During a military parade in Pyongyang on April 25, North Korea put on display their Hwasong-17 ICBM, a number of giant rocket launchers and a submarine-launched ballistic missile.

After the parade, Kim vowed to develop nuclear arms “to deter war.”

In a statement released by the government-run Korean Central News Agency, the North Korean leader said: “True peace can be trusted and national dignity and national sovereignty can be guaranteed by the powerful self-defense force that can overcome the enemy.”

He further warned against anyone who would try to “take away the fundamental interests of our country, our nuclear force will have no choice but to carry out its second mission.”

Featured Image via Arirang News

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