North Korea ignored all warnings from the U.S and fired a long range missile capable of reaching the United States. This comes just 4 weeks after North Korea conducted its fourth nuclear test. Obama administration’s efforts to pressure the Kim Jong Un regime to end its weapons program have clearly failed.
North Korea is attempting to disguise the launch, claiming it was for scientific and “peaceful purposes”. Other nations, such as Japan and South Korea, see the launch for what it really is, a front for a ballistic missile test. UN Security Council resolutions ban the state from carrying out any nuclear or ballistic missile tests.
The launch was condemned by Japan, South Korea and the US, who have requested an emergency meeting of the UN Security Council later on Sunday.
U.N. Secretary Ban Ki Moon said the launch is “deeply deplorable” and in violation of Security Council resolutions “despite the united plea of the international community against such an act.”
U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry called the firing “a flagrant violation” of U.N resolutions, while South Korean President Park Geun Hye said the launch was an “unacceptable provocation” and called for additional sanctions to be leveled at Pyongyang.
South Korea also says it is to begin discussing with the US the deployment of a missile defence system.
Although this missile did not pose a threat to the U.S, the missile itself was designed with long range targets in mind. The missile called Taepodong-2, has a range of 10,000 kilometers (about 6,200 miles). That would leave the West Coast of the U.S. within the missile’s range.
The U.S. will work with security council members to develop “significant measures” to hold North Korea accountable, Kerry said in a statement. “Now is the time to do so in a firm and united way, with measures that make clear the determination of the international community to address the pursuit of nuclear and ballistic missile capabilities by” North Korea.
North Korea last fired a long-range rocket in 2012 to put, what it said was, a communications satellite into orbit. But experts say no signal has ever been detected.