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North Korea Tests Banned Intercontinental Missile

INTERNATIONAL: North Korea has fired what may be at least one ballistic missile toward the sea off its east coast on Thursday ,March 24, militaries in South Korea and Japan have said, the first apparent test launch since a missile reportedly exploded in mid-air last week.

South Korea's Joint Chiefs of Staff has said North Korea used a long-range ballistic missile in its latest test. It is also a banned intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) for the first time since 2017,

On March 16, North Korea has launched a suspected missile that appeared to explode shortly after liftoff in the skies over Pyongyang, South Korea's military has claimed, amid reports that the nuclear-armed North was seeking to test-fire its largest missile yet.

The United States and South Korea have warned that North Korea may be preparing to launch an intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) at full range for the first time since 2017, in violation of United Nations Security Council (UNSC) resolutions.

Japanese officials have estimated it flew 1,100 kilometres. It fell in Japanese waters after flying for more than an hour.

An ICBM can travel thousands of kilometres on a standard trajectory, and could theoretically reach the US.

North Korea has launched a flurry of missile tests in recent weeks.

The US and South Korea have said some of those tests, which Pyongyang claimed were satellite launches, were actually trials of an ICBM system.

The UN prohibits North Korea from ballistic and nuclear weapons tests, and has imposed strict sanctions after previous tests.

In 2018 North Korean leader Kim Jong-un put in place a moratorium on long-range ballistic missile and nuclear tests, following talks with then US President Donald Trump.

But in 2020, Mr Kim has announced he was no longer bound by this promise.

In 2017 North Korea tested an ICBM - the Hwasong-12 - which reached an altitude of about 4,500 kilometres.

The Hwasong-14 has demonstrated even greater potential, with a range of 8,000 kilomteres.

Only the US, Russia and China have land-based missiles of this range.

Experts have estimated that it could have travelled more than 13,000 kilometers if it had been fired on a standard trajectory, which meant it could reach any part of the continental United States.

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