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No one knows anything about the new rocket North Korea fired today.

In a time when tensions are high in the Asia-Pacific area, South Korea says that North Korea fired a new type of long-range ballistic missile, causing people in Japan to hide out of fear.

But it turned out not to be dangerous in the end.

A South Korean military official said that the missile looked like a new weapon that had been shown at recent North Korean military parades. The official said that the missile might have used solid fuel.

The South Korean military said that the missile went about 1,000 km (620 miles). They called it a “grave provocation” and told Pyongyang to stop right away because launching ballistic missiles is against UN Security Council rules.

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un (C) and his daughter (L) watch a warhead missile launch practice simulating a tactical nuclear attack on March 20, 2023, in Cheolsan County, North Pyongan Province. — AFP
North Korean leader Kim Jong Un (C) and his daughter (L) watch a warhead missile launch practice that simulates a tactical nuclear attack on March 20, 2023, in Cheolsan County, North Pyongan Province. — AFP
The official said, “The missile’s highest point was lower than 6,000 km, which was the highest point of some of the tests that broke records last year.”

In a statement, a military source said, “So far, we think they fired a new type of ballistic missile with a range of between 1,000 and 20,000 miles.” We’re still looking at specifics like its path, altitude, and range, and it’s possible that it was powered by solid fuel.

The military also said that it was on high watch and working closely with the US military. In a statement, the White House strongly criticized the firing of the long-range ballistic missile.

“It’s possible that North Korea was testing a part of a reconnaissance satellite, like a sensor,” the military source said.

North Korea said last year that it would be ready to launch a military satellite for spying in April 2023.

In response to the missile launch, Japan’s Defense Minister Yasukazu Hamada said, “The missile may have been a type of intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM)” with the longest range. However, Japan is keeping a close eye on the situation and looking into the details.

The Defense Minister also said that the missile landed in areas outside of Japan’s exclusive economic zone (EEZ).

Chief Cabinet Secretary Matsuno called the launch “an outrageous act that escalates provocations against the entire international community.”

“North Korea’s actions, like launching ballistic missiles over and over again, pose a threat to Japan, the region, and the world as a whole,” Matsuno said.

On the other hand, North Korea has been criticizing the joint military drills between the US and South Korea, which it sees as an increase in tension and a threat.

Panic due to ballistic missile launch
South Korea’s foreign ministry said, “The nuclear envoys of allies South Korea, the US, and Japan spoke out against the launch, saying that North Korea had always threatened regional peace with “unprecedented levels of provocations and threatening statements.”

NHK, a Japanese news station, said that schools in Hokkaido opened later than usual and that some train services were canceled.

The ballistic missile launch happened just a few days after Kim Jong Un, the leader of North Korea, said that the North’s war deterrent should be made “more practical and offensive” to counter what North Korea called the United States’ aggressive moves.

The US condemned North Korea, but they also offered to talk about the situation.

Adrienne Watson, a spokeswoman for the US National Security Council, said in a statement, “The door has not been closed on diplomacy, but Pyongyang must stop doing things that make things worse right away and instead choose to engage in diplomacy.”