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North Korea has successfully test-launched its most powerful missile yet

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The United Nations has condemned the testing of a North Korean missile that has the capacity to reach the U.S. mainland before detonating.
North Korea has successfully test-launched its most powerful missile yet

The United Nations has condemned the testing of a North Korean missile that has the capacity to reach the U.S. mainland before detonating.

The missile flew almost 1,000 kilometres on Friday before landing in the ocean between the Korean peninsula and Japan.

Here’s what you need to know.

What happened?

On Friday morning (local time), a new type of intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) was successfully tested by North Korea.

According to the UN, North Korea didn’t issue an airspace or maritime safety notification ahead of the launch.

The Hwasong-17 missile is believed to have not been successfully launched before, and is understood to be capable of travelling over 15,000 kilometres before detonating.

Why?

According to the state-run news agency, the launch of the Hwasong-17 missile was conducted because of the “reckless military confrontational moves” taken against other nations, including the U.S. and South Korea.

They also reported that the successful test proved the missile was the “strongest strategic weapon in the world”, and would bolster its military arsenal in the case of international conflict.

Broader context

North Korea has conducted over 60 ballistic missile launches in 2022.

This includes three missiles that could travel across continents.

Earlier this year, North Korea launched 23 missiles in one day – the most it had ever launched. South Korea responded by firing its own missiles, with the Japanese Government having to issue a shelter alert for some of its districts amid the launches.

UN concerns

UN Under-Secretary-General for Political and Peacebuilding Affairs, Rosemary DiCarlo, told the UN Security Council this week that tensions with North Korea were continuing to build “with no off-ramps in sight”.

“[North Korea’s] continued pursuit of its nuclear weapons programme and launches of ballistic missiles blatantly violate relevant Security Council resolutions and have led to a significant escalation of tensions.”

The Security Council has met 10 times this year to discuss the actions of North Korea.

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