Monday, February 20, 2023

International reaction to North Korea missile launches, 'what has to be done is clear'

According to news reports, North Korea launched two more ballistic missiles off its east coast on Monday.

The two ballistic missiles were fired around 5 p.m. EST on Sunday and went into waters off the east coast of the Korean Peninsula. The first missile reached an altitude of 100 kilometers and the second, launched 10 minutes later, reached 50 km.

The launches come just two days after North Korea fired an intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) into the sea off Japan's west coast.

The action met a strong reaction from congressional members in Washington.

“The recent North Korean ICBM test is a stark reminder that Kim Jong Un is an unstable dictator with a growing nuclear arsenal capable of ranging the U.S. homeland,” Rep. Mike Rogers (R-Ala.), chairman of the House Armed Services Committee, said in a statement.

“Protecting the U.S. homeland must be paramount as we develop our 2024 budget, and this includes fully-funding homeland missile defense assets,” he continued. “What has to be done is clear – we must accelerate our missile defense development to outpace the DPRK (Democratic People's Republic of Korea) threat. This includes speeding up the Next Generation Interceptor, putting more interceptors in the ground, and looking to space-based missile defenses.”

The German Federal Foreign Office said the launch endangers international security.

“North Korea is obliged to completely, irreversibly, and verifiably end its programs to develop weapons of mass destruction and ballistic missiles,” said the Federal Foreign Office in a statement on Sunday.

“North Korea’s continued violations of United Nations Security Council resolutions are deeply worrying,” the office continued. “We call on North Korea to fully implement the decisions of the United Nations Security Council and to take up the offers put forward by the United States and South Korea to engage in serious dialogue.

Referring to the ballistic missile test by North Korea, the Foreign Ministers of the G7 on Feb. 18 stated that North Korea’s reckless behavior demands a unified response by the international community, including further significant measures taken by the UN Security Council.

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