|North Korea's intercontinental ballistic missile leaves the launch pad on February 18, 2023. (Photo: Yonhap/VNA)
Japan's Defense Ministry said the missiles reached maximum altitudes of 100 km and 50 km, and travelled 350 to 400 km before falling outside Japan's exclusive economic zone. There were no reports of damage to aircraft or vessels.
South Korea’s military reported that North Korea also fired two short-range ballistic missiles from the Sukchon area in South Pyongan province toward the sea off its east coast.
North Korean leader Kim's sister Kim Yo Jong, who is Deputy Director of the Propaganda and Agitation Department of the Workers' Party of Korea, warned that Pyongyang could turn the Pacific into a “firing range”.
She said North Korea will take countermeasures if US actions are considered a direct or indirect threat.
|South Korean and US combat aircraft engage in combined air drills over the Yellow Sea on February 1, 2023. (Photo: Yonhap)
One day before North Korea's missile launch, the US conducted air exercises with South Korea and Japan. These drills, involving strategic bombers, came one day after North Korea unexpectedly launched an intercontinental ballistic missile.
UN chief Antonio Guterres condemned the launches and urged Pyongyang to immediately desist from any further provocations and comply with its international obligations under UN Security Council resolutions.
He called on North Korea to resume a denuclearisation dialogue toward a lasting peace on the Korean peninsula.