North Korea has confirmed that it has successfully tested an intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) and has warned of more powerful steps in response to joint military trainings conducted by South Korea and the United States.
The ICBM test was conducted on Saturday and was immediately met with condemnation from the U.S. and South Korea. In response, South Korea and the U.S. conducted a joint air exercise on Sunday to demonstrate their commitment to the security of the region.
The U.S. State Department issued a statement strongly condemning the launch and calling it a “flagrant violation” of UN Security Council resolutions. The statement also urged North Korea to “refrain from further provocations” and to “abide by its international obligations and commitments.”
North Korea has long maintained that its missile program is necessary to defend itself against the U.S. and its allies. However, the international community has expressed concern that the country’s missile program could threaten global security.
The test comes at a time of heightened tensions on the Korean Peninsula, with North Korea and the U.S. exchanging threats and warnings in recent weeks.
The situation is being closely monitored by the international community and it remains to be seen what further steps will be taken to de-escalate the situation.