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North Korea launches ballistic missile: US and allies respond

North Korea launches ballistic missile: US and allies respond Photo: Pyongyang fails to launch a ballistic missile (photo from open sources)
Author: Liliana Oleniak

North Korea launched a ballistic missile that failed in flight. In this way, Kim Jong Un's regime demonstrated strength a week after concluding a military pact with Russia, Bloomberg reports.

South Korea's Joint Chiefs of Staff said the missile was launched at about 5:30 a.m. local time on Wednesday from an area near Pyongyang and probably failed shortly after launch. South Korean and US intelligence agencies are analyzing the incident to find out more details.

According to officials in Tokyo, the missile landed in waters outside Japan's exclusive economic zone. More information about the flight was not immediately available.

This is the first launch since Kim Jong Un's regime simultaneously launched short-range ballistic missiles in late May.

DPRK's missile terror

Over the past few years, North Korea has managed to avoid missile failures as Kim has deployed a new line of missiles capable of carrying nuclear warheads and designed to strike the continental United States, as well as America's allies Japan and South Korea. It has failed with its missiles to launch satellites, and the latest attempt in late May failed when the rocket broke apart in a fireball shortly after launch.

Before the latest missile test, North Korea criticized the United States for sending the USS Theodore Roosevelt aircraft carrier group to the Korean Peninsula for joint exercises between Japan and South Korea.

United States and Allies' reaction

On Tuesday, June 25, the President of the Republic of Korea Yoon Suk Yeol visited the USS Theodore Roosevelt while it was docked in the southeastern city of Busan. According to him, the visit aimed to demonstrate to Kim the US commitment to deploying its nuclear umbrella to protect his country.

North Korea condemned the joint exercises as a prelude to an invasion and criticized the US aircraft carrier groups stationed off the coast of South Korea.

"The DPRK bitterly condemns the provocative attempts of the US and the ROK, the heinous confrontation maniacs with the most powerful rhetoric and with all possibilities of demonstrating its overwhelming and new deterrent force," the official North Korean Central News Agency quoted Vice Defense Minister Kim Kang Il as saying on Monday.

Putin's Visit to DPRK and Partnership Agreement

On June 18, Russian President Vladimir Putin officially visited North Korea for the first time in 24 years. The Kremlin leader likely negotiated with Kim Jong-un about additional weapons for the war against Ukraine.

Following the visit, the leaders of Russia and the DPRK signed a strategic partnership agreement. The agreement provides for mutual assistance in the event of aggression against one of the parties to the agreement.

The United States and its allies Japan and South Korea in the strongest terms condemned the deepening military cooperation between Russia and North Korea, calling it a serious concern and threat to stability.

The United States and its Asian allies also see the visit as an advancement of arms transfers from the Kim regime to help Putin's war in Ukraine. The pact likely means that the US and its allies will have to re-evaluate what might happen if they use weapons against North Korea.

Earlier this week, North Korea sent a new shipment of garbage balloons across the border to South Korea after Seoul said it had found parasites in the contents of previous shipments.

Read more about Putin's visit to Pyongyang in RBC-Ukraine's report.