Moon Accuses Kim Jong-un of Violating Moratorium on Intercontinental Ballistic Missile Launches

© Korean Central News Agency (KCNA)A DPRK railway-borne ballistic missile is launched in a January 14, 2022, test in western North Korea
A DPRK railway-borne ballistic missile is launched in a January 14, 2022, test in western North Korea - Sputnik International, 1920, 24.03.2022
Last week, South Korean media reported that the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) was preparing to conduct yet another intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) test launch soon.
South Korean President Moon Jae-in has accused North Korea's leader Kim Jong-un of violating the moratorium on intercontinental ballistic missile launches after Pyongyang fired a long-range missile towards the Sea of Japan on Thursday.
Earlier in the day South Korea's Joint Chiefs of Staff said North Korea had launched a suspected long-range ballistic missile, after initially reporting that Pyongyang fired an "unidentified projectile" towards the Sea of Japan. Seoul said it could be an intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) fired on a "lofted" trajectory.
South Korea made the statement almost in sync with Japan, which said that the DPRK had fired "what could be a ballistic missile". Japan's Vice Defence Mnister Makoto Oniki said the projectile appeared to be a new model of ICBM, given it had reached an altitude of more than 6,000 km.
An emergency response center has been set up under the Japanese prime minister's office in connection with the possible launch. No damage has been reported yet, but the projectile appears to have landed near Japan's northern prefecture of Aomori.
Seoul along with Tokyo strongly condemned the launch, with Japan sending a protest note to North Korea.
Three days ago, the Yonhap news agency reported, citing South Korean military officials, that the DPRK had fired four shots from multiple rocket launch systems into the western waters of the Yellow Sea. Acording to the news agency, four projectiles fell into the sea within the hour from 7:20 a.m. local time on Sunday (22:00 GMT on Saturday). The South Korean National Security Council was said to have convened an emergency meeting to discuss the incident.
A TV screen shows a file image of North Korea's missile launch during a news program at the Seoul Railway Station in Seoul, South Korea on March 5, 2022 - Sputnik International, 1920, 16.03.2022
North Korea's Latest Effort to Launch Projectile Proves Unsuccessful, S. Korea Military Says
Since the end of 2017, Pyongyang had maintained a voluntary moratorium on nuclear tests and launches of intercontinental ballistic missile systems. However, in January, North Korean leader Kim Jong-un decided to consider the resumption of "all temporarily suspended activities" due to what he described as hostile policy on the part of the United States.
A number of media outlets and experts viewed the statement as Pyongyang's intention to stop complying with the moratorium on nuclear and long-range missile tests amid the stalled dialogue with Washington.
Since the beginning of this year, North Korea has conducted at least ten tests.
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