North Korea's latest move, heightening nuclear attack fears

Written by Jeppe W

Dec.18 - 2023 3:41 PM CET

Photo: Shutterstock.com
Photo: Shutterstock.com

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Tensions have escalated following North Korea's launch of a long-range missile capable of reaching the United States, as reported by Japanese and South Korean officials, cited by Newsweek.

The launch, described as an intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) test by the White House, has significantly increased concerns over a potential nuclear attack.

According to Japanese minister Shingo Miyake, the missile, fired into the East Sea (also known as the Sea of Japan), has a potential range exceeding 15,000 kilometers, putting the entirety of the U.S. territory within reach. This development is seen as a "flagrant violation" of multiple U.N. Security Council resolutions.

The launch comes amid a series of aggressive military activities by North Korea, including the firing of a short-range ballistic missile just hours earlier. These actions have heightened anxiety in neighboring South Korea and Japan, leading them to seek reassurance from the U.S., a move that has further aggravated Pyongyang.

In response to the increasing threat, South Korean President Yoon Suk Yeol warned of an "immediate, overwhelming response" should North Korea move against South Korean territory or its people.

Similarly, Japan's Defense Ministry has expressed grave concerns, noting that North Korea's missile testing frequency and provocations are escalating.

This situation follows a recent meeting of the U.S.-South Korean Nuclear Consultative Group in Washington, D.C., where the U.S. affirmed its commitment to use "the full range of U.S. capabilities, including nuclear," to support South Korea.

A joint statement by Washington and Seoul declared any nuclear attack by North Korea against the U.S. or its allies as "unacceptable," warning of severe consequences for the Kim regime.

Amid these developments, North Korea's Defense Ministry issued a combative statement, interpreting the U.S.-South Korea meeting as a provocation and hinting at more aggressive actions in response.

The state-run North Korean news agency, KCNA, described the current situation on the Korean peninsula as "touch-and-go," indicating a heightened state of alert and potential for further escalations.

The arrival of the U.S. nuclear-powered submarine, the USS Missouri, at the South Korean port of Busan has added to the tension, with North Korea viewing it as a sign of U.S. preparation for nuclear war.

As the situation continues to develop, the international community remains watchful of North Korea's actions and the responses from the U.S. and its allies in the region.

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