WASHINGTON, D.C. – As the world continues to watch the war in Ukraine, tensions are escalating in the Pacific after North Korea fired a long-range missile over Japan. That missile, which some officials said, could reach a U.S. territory. It has raised security concerns among officials.
Around 7:30 in the morning on Tuesday, alarms and sirens went off in Japan. Residents were warned to find shelter because North Korea, known as the DPRK, fired a missile over Japan.
State department officials said Pyongyang has had nearly 40 weapons tests since the beginning of the year but this latest one stirred panic in Japan and in the region. Its the first missile fired over Japan since 2017. The New York Times and other outlets are reporting the missile traveled about three-thousand miles. That range could reach the tiny island of Guam, a U.S. territory.
“This action is a clear violation of multiple resolutions adopted by the UN Security council,” said Vedant Patel, the principal deputy spokesperson for the State Department.
The Biden administration calls DPRK’s missile a “dangerous and reckless decision”. However, Pyongyang’s missile wasn’t left without a response. South Korea and the U.S. conducted a precision bombing exercise and the U.S. and South Korean military fired a volley of surface-to-surface missiles off the east coast of South Korea in a combined drill. The National Security Council coordinator said our launch was to demonstrate the U.S. and our allies have the military capabilities at the ready to respond to provocations by the North.
“It shouldn’t come to that,” said John Kirby the NSC coordinator. “We made it clear to Kim Jong-un we are willing to sit down with no preconditions. We want to see the denuclearization of the peninsula.”
While the U.S. said they’re still working on dialogue and diplomacy with North Korea, the U.S. and our allies are still trying to calm tensions in the region after China recently conducted military exercises near Taiwan. Taiwan is a U.S. ally. President Biden said they would defend the tiny island if needed.