South Korea fires missiles in response to North Korea 'ICBM launch'

24 March 2022, 09:23 | Updated: 24 March 2022, 09:26

North Korea carried out a test launch of an intercontinental ballistic missile
North Korea carried out a test launch of an intercontinental ballistic missile. Picture: Alamy

By Asher McShane

South Korea has fired multiple missiles in a show of might after the North carried out a test launch of an intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM).

North Korea launched one of its ICBM missiles for the first time since 2017. Japanese officials estimate the ordnance flew 1,100 km (684 miles). It fell in Japanese waters after a flight of more than an hour.

Senior South Korean military officials said the launch was detected from Sunan airfield in Pyongyang and the missile flew some 1,080 kilometers at a top altitude of over 6,200 km.

The Pyongyang airfield is where the North is thought to have carried out additional tests of the Hwasong-17 ICBM on Feb 27 and March 5.

The new ICBM is thought to be capable of carrying multiple warheads and have a range exceeding 13,000 km, meaning it could theoretically reach the US from North Korea.

Japan's Prime Minster's Office Defence Ministry said the North fired what it suspected was a ballistic missile.

South Korea test fired missiles from the ground, sea, and air in response to the ICBM test.

The missile launch is North Korea's 12th launch this year. The country's military test fired artillery into the sea on Sunday.

Experts say the North's unusually fast pace in testing activity underscore its dual goal of advancing its weaponry and applying pressure on Washington over a deepening freeze in nuclear negotiations.

The North conducted two medium-range tests from near its capital area in recent weeks that the US and South Korean militaries later assessed as involving components of the North's largest ICBM, the Hwasong-17.

The missile could soon be tested at full range, according to the US and South Korea.

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