OAN Brooke Mallory
UPDATED 10:27 AM – Friday, April 14, 2023
According to a South Korean military official, the North Korean launch that prompted Japanese residents of its northernmost main island to evacuate immediately may have featured a “new type of ballistic missile.”
In response to a question from the press, the official stated that South Korea is “still analyzing details like the trajectory, altitude and range, with the possibility that it carried a solid-fuel propellant.”
It would be North Korea’s first test of a solid-fuel ICBM, which is reportedly more portable and has a higher rate of fire than missiles using liquid propellants.
“So far we assess that they fired a new type of ballistic missile with an intermediate or intercontinental range,” said the official, who also included that the missile seemed to have been displayed at a recent North Korean military parade.
According to reports from Japan’s coast guard, the missile was launched close to Pyongyang and touched down around an hour later, 620 miles away, off the east coast of North Korea.
Japanese officials advised the people in Hokkaido to seek shelter and warned that it was expected to fall nearby at 8:00 a.m. local time. Residents received a message saying that they should leave right away.
However, according to Chief Cabinet Secretary Hirokazu Matsuno, the statement was subsequently revoked once it was discovered through further analysis that there was no likelihood that the missile would touch down on Japanese soil.
“The J-Alert warning was issued to inform citizens of the danger of a falling missile to prioritize citizens’ safety… We did not correct the information issued by the J-Alert,” Matsuno said.
The White House stated that it “strongly condemns” the launch and identified it as a test of a “long-range ballistic missile.”
“The President and his national security team are assessing the situation in close coordination with our allies and partners,” said the National Security Council Spokesperson, Adrienne Watson. “This launch is a brazen violation of multiple U.N. Security Council resolutions and needlessly raises tensions and risks destabilizing the security situation in the region. This action demonstrates that the DPRK continues to prioritize its unlawful weapons of mass destruction and ballistic missile programs over the well-being of its people.”
“We urge all countries to condemn these violations and call on the DPRK to come to the table for serious negotiations… The door has not closed on diplomacy, but Pyongyang must immediately cease its destabilizing actions and instead choose diplomatic engagement,” Watson concluded.
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