“North Korea Defies International Pressure, Test Launches ICBM Ahead of Diplomatic Talks”

North Korea has once again conducted missile tests, launching an Intercontinental Ballistic Missile (ICBM) ahead of the South Korea-Japan summit. The projectile was fired off the east coast, and experts believe it could be an upgraded version of the Hwasong-15, which was the largest missile tested by the nation in 2017.

North Korea has previously defended its missile tests as necessary to maintain its military capabilities and deter foreign aggression, but the international community, led by the US, has viewed them as provocations. South Korea, Japan, and the United States all issued condemnations of North Korea’s latest missile test.

The launch comes just as South Korean President Yoon Suk-yeol was set to travel to Japan for talks, and follows similar missile tests earlier this year, continuing with North Korea’s pattern of conducting military tests to coincide with diplomatic negotiations.

The launch was condemned by the United States, Japan, and South Korea, with Japan’s Defense Minister Nobuo Kishi calling it a “serious threat to our country” and the Japanese prime minister Yoshihide Suga saying it “defies the international community’s unyielding efforts toward a peaceful resolution of the issues concerning North Korea.”

Meanwhile, South Korea’s President Moon Jae-in also condemned the test, calling it a “serious provocation” and declaring that “we will respond with combined strength to ensure deterrence.”

North Korea’s missile tests remain a pressing concern for its neighbors and the entire international community, and diplomats continue to work toward a peaceful resolution of the ongoing tensions.