US accuses Pyongyang of testing new missile system

The United States denounced the latest missile strikes by North Korea on Thursday, March 10. Washington accuses Pyongyang of recent testing “a new intercontinental ballistic missile system”and is preparing sanctions to respond to them, according to the Pentagon and White House.

North Korea has conducted numerous missile launches since the beginning of the year, but Washington more closely analyzed two launches, conducted on February 26 and March 4. The United States concluded that these two shots “It involved a new intercontinental ballistic missile system that North Korea is developing, which was originally unveiled at a parade” on Oct. 10, according to a statement from Pentagon spokesman John Kirby.

He believed that these tests were intended to: “evaluate the new system” for a future launch “full-range potential disguised as a space operation”that would end North Korea’s self-imposed moratorium on long-range missile and nuclear tests since 2017.

In Tokyo, Japan’s Defense Ministry confirmed Washington’s analysis, adding that the missile launched in February reached a maximum altitude of about 600 kilometers and traveled a distance of about 300 kilometers, and that in March it reached a maximum altitude of 550 kilometers launched for a distance of 300 kilometers. he condemned “an absolutely unacceptable threat to peace and security”

threat of sanctions

Pyongyang had assured after these firings that they were satellite development tests conducted from Sohae base, on North Korea’s northwest coast.

North Korean leader Kim Jong-un also visited this base on Friday, according to the official KCNA agency, and ordered the facilities to be expanded and modernized — enough to further speculate about an imminent full-scale test. to awaken. †

Without waiting, the United States, for its part, will announce measures on Friday to “prevent North Korea from accessing foreign products and technologies that would allow it to develop its banned weapons programs”and “other actions will follow in the coming days”said a senior US official, requesting anonymity.

“The United States has decided to make this information public and share it with our allies and partners because we prioritize mitigating strategic risk and because we firmly believe that the international community must speak with one voice. oppose the future development of such weapons by North Korea.”said the White House official.

“We continue to pursue diplomatic dialogue and are ready to meet without preconditions” with the North Koreans, he added nonetheless.

Rocket fire multiplication

Washington and its partners failed early this week to get the UN Security Council to approve a text against North Korea, which has multiplied firing missiles from various distances, running counter to opposition from Russia and China.

Already under heavy international sanctions, Pyongyang has so far rejected all offers for dialogue since the 2019 failure of talks between leader Kim Jong-un and then-US President Donald Trump.

North Korea has stepped up the modernization of its military and has recently fired more missiles. Analysts say Pyongyang would also try to take advantage of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine to conduct new tests at a time when the United States is turning all its attention to this conflict.

The US announcement comes in the context of the presidential victory in South Korea of ​​conservative Yoon Seok-youl, who wants to sharpen his tone against North Korea.

So the new South Korean president, who called Joe Biden on Thursday to congratulate him, has promised himself:“learn a few ways” to Kim Jong Un.

The world with AFP