South Korea and the US yesterday said that the latest missile launch by North Korea ended in a failure after the projectile reportedly exploded soon after liftoff.
The South Korean Joint Chiefs of Staff said in a statement that the military believes the North unsuccessfully attempted to fire a mid-range Musudan missile.
It said the failed launch was made near an airport in the North’s North Pyongan Province.
South Korea’s Yonhap news agency said that the missile was believed to have exploded soon after liftoff. Yonhap cited no source for the information.
South Korea strongly condemns the launch because it violates UN Security Council resolutions that ban any ballistic activities by North Korea, the statement said.
The US military first reported the launch was attempted at 12:03pm on Saturday and that the missile did not pose a threat to North America. The launch brought harsh criticism from the US.
“We strongly condemn this and North Korea’s other recent missile tests, which violate UN Security Council resolutions explicitly prohibiting North Korea’s launches using ballistic missile technology,” Pentagon spokesman Commander Gary Ross said.
He said the US would raise concerns at the UN.
“Our commitment to the defense of our allies, including the Republic of Korea and Japan, in the face of these threats, is ironclad,” Ross said. “We remain prepared to defend ourselves and our allies from any attack or provocation.”
Japan has expressed concern over the launches, and Japanese Minister of Defense Tomomi Inada yesterday said that she wants to work in cooperation with the US and South Korea to assure her country’s security.
North Korea has claimed breakthroughs in its goal of developing a long-range nuclear missile capable of reaching the continental US.
South Korean defense officials have said the North does not yet have such a weapon.
It is the latest in a series of moves by North Korea apparently aimed at displaying a show of force. As recently as last month, it fired three ballistic missiles off its east coast, timed to get the attention of world leaders, including US President Barack Obama, who were visiting the region for a series of summits.
The UN Security Council subsequently condemned those North Korean launches and threatened “further significant measures” if it refused to stop its nuclear and missile tests.
North Korea also conducted its fifth nuclear test last month and in all has launched more than 20 ballistic missiles this year, part of its program aimed at improving the delivery system for nuclear weapons.
North Korea successfully launched a Musudan missile in June after several failed attempts.
The Musudan has a range of 3,500km — enough to reach US military installations in Japan and Guam.
Obama has vowed to work with the UN to tighten sanctions against North Korea, but has also said that the US was open to dialogue if the North Korean government changes course.
SURPRISE GUEST: Media reports identified the visitor as Admiral Michael Studeman, director of the J2, which oversees intelligence at the US military’s Indo-Pacific Command A two-star US Navy admiral overseeing US military intelligence in the Asia-Pacific region has made an unannounced visit to Taiwan, two sources told Reuters on Sunday. The sources, who include a Taiwanese official familiar with the situation, said the official was Rear Admiral Michael Studeman. They were speaking on condition of anonymity. After initially saying on Sunday night that it had no comment about the report, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs said it welcomed the visit of an “unidentified US official,” but declined to give more details because the trip “has not been made public.” Presidential Office spokesman Xavier Chang (張惇涵) yesterday
AUTUMN STRUGGLE: The KMT and TPP set up stages on the rally’s sidelines, while Want Want boss Tsai Eng-meng said the DPP was curtailing freedom of speech Tens of thousands of people in Taipei yesterday took part in the “Autumn Struggle” (秋鬥) — an annual protest march by labor groups — but with this year’s focus on rejecting the government’s plan to allow imports of US pork containing ractopamine residue. “Against poisonous pork, against double standards, against a party-state,” the protesters, mostly wearing black, chanted in front of the rally’s main stage on Ketagalan Boulevard at about noon, before a parade set off at 2pm. Autumn Struggle spokesperson Lee Chien-cheng (李建誠) said this year’s march was divided into three teams, with the first team urging food safety and labor
DEFENSE: The construction of indigenous submarines will be a testament to the nation’s commitment to safeguard its sovereignty, President Tsai Ing-wen said President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) yesterday presided over a ceremony to mark the start of construction of the nation’s first indigenous submarine at state-run shipbuilder CSBC Corp’s (台灣國際造船) shipyard in Kaohsiung. “This submarine is an important part of allowing our navy to develop asymmetric warfare and to intimidate and block enemy ships from surrounding Taiwan’s main island,” Tsai said. “With the construction of the submarine to its future commission, we will certainly let the world know our persistence in safeguarding our sovereignty.” Tsai has made boosting the nation’s indigenous defense capacity a central pillar of her defense policy. She recently relaunched the
TIMELINE QUESTIONS: Chen Shih-chung said: ‘If anyone could assure us that we could get the shots in the first quarter of next year, we could set off firecrackers’ Taiwan has secured nearly 15 million COVID-19 vaccine doses, the Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) said yesterday, as it reported five new imported infections among travelers from Indonesia and the Philippines. Minister of Health and Welfare Chen Shih-chung (陳時中), who heads the center, said that Taiwan on Monday signed a procurement contract with a COVID-19 vaccine manufacturer and paid a deposit to secure 10 million doses. It was the first contract finalized with a manufacturer and negotiations are under way with three other vaccine makers, Chen said. With the more than 4.6 million doses that can be obtained through the COVAX platform —