North Korea on Friday confirmed it had tested-fired a "new type" of inter-continental ballistic missile (ICBM) towards the East Sea, state-run media reported.
The Thursday test was personally monitored by North Korean leader Kim Jong-un, state media KCNA reported.
Kim had ordered the test launch on Wednesday and visited the launching ground on Thursday to personally “guide the overall process of the test-launch of the new type ICBM Hwasongpho-17.”
The UN, US, Japan, and South Korea all condemned the missile launch.
“The emergence of the new strategic weapon of the DPRK (North Korea) would make the whole world clearly aware of the power of our strategic armed forces once again,” Kim said afterward.
He called the launch an “occasion of convincing the world of the modern feature of our strategic forces and further consolidating the foundation of guarantee and confidence in security of the state based on it.”
Hours later South Korea responded by firing missiles from ground, sea, and air towards the East Sea.
UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said the missile launch risks “significant escalation of tensions in the region.”
US sanctions 6 in North Korea, Syria over weapons proliferation
US Secretary of State Antony Blinken early Friday announce sanctions on six individuals in Russia, North Korea, and China for “supporting missile and proliferation programs” in North Korea and Syria.
“The world must remain vigilant of efforts by the DPRK and Syria to advance their (weapons) proliferation programs,” he added.
Japan said North Korea’s missile launch has “elevated the level of its security threat.”
“Pyongyang’s firing intercontinental ballistic missile on Thursday is a serious threat to the peace and stability of Japan and the international community, moving to a different dimension from its series of previous missile launches,” Japan’s Defense Minister Nobuo Kishi said on Friday, according to Tokyo-based Kyodo News.
Japanese Foreign Minister Yoshimasa Hayashi also spoke to his South Korean counterpart Chung Eui Yong today and “agreed that their countries will resolutely respond to North Korea.”
After the phone call, Hayashi said the two sides “strongly condemned the latest move by Pyongyang, which was a clear and serious challenge to the international community.”
“We will keep cooperating with the US, South Korea, and other like-minded nations,” he said.
Kishi told a news conference: “We cannot tolerate North Korea conducting this missile launch that could escalate its provocations against the international community at a time when the world is focusing on Russia's aggression against Ukraine.”