The launch of a missile by North Korea poses no immediate threat, according to the US military.
On Wednesday, the US, South Korea, and Japan all acknowledged that North Korea had conducted suspected ballistic missile tests, just hours after China’s top envoy met with senior government officials in Seoul and urged for peace on the Korean Peninsula.
“While we have assessed that this event does not pose an imminent threat to U.S. people or territory, or to our allies,” the US Indo-Pacific Command said in a brief press release, “the missile launch illustrates the destabilizing impact of the DPRK’s illegal weapons program.”
USINDOPACOM stated that the US was “closely consulting” with allies and reaffirmed defense commitments to Seoul and Tokyo.
According to AFP, South Korea’s Joint Chiefs of Staff stated it had spotted “two unidentified ballistic missiles” fired into the East Sea by the North. The rockets traveled around 500 kilometers at a height of slightly under 40 miles, according to Seoul. Since Pyongyang performed similar tests in March, these were the first such launches.
According to The Japan Times, a Japanese coast guard study found that the missiles launched into the Sea of Japan did not land in the country’s territorial waters or exclusive economic zone.
According to The Associated Press, Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga told reporters that the alleged missile launch “threatened the peace and security of Japan and the region.” The debut, according to Suga, was “totally outrageous.”
South Korean and Japanese leaders are said to have called emergency National Security Council meetings to consider the latest events, which the Chinese government has yet to address publicly.
Following a meeting with his colleague in Seoul, Chung Eui-yong, China’s Foreign Minister Wang Yi sat for a 40-minute meeting with South Korean President Moon Jae-in as part of a weeklong tour of Asia.
According to Reuters, Chung suggested that China continue to support the Korean Peninsula peace process, while Moon asked Beijing to assist in resuming stalled talks between Pyongyang and representatives from Seoul and Washington.
The North’s official Korean Central News Agency announced the successful launch of a new type of “long-range cruise missile” over the weekend, describing it as a “strategic weapon of tremendous significance” that traveled over 900 miles in less than two hours.
On Wednesday, when asked about the weekend’s tests, Wang skirted direct criticism of North Korea, instead calling for all countries to contribute to “peace.” This is a condensed version of the information.