As Historic Summit Looms, North Korea Launches ICBM

South Korea, Japan leaders are meeting at first such summit in 12 years
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 16, 2023 12:50 AM CDT
As Historic Summit Looms, North Korea Launches ICBM
A TV screen shows a file image of North Korea's missile launch during a news program at the Seoul Railway Station in Seoul, South Korea, Thursday, March 16, 2023.   (AP Photo/Ahn Young-joon)

Amid the biggest South Korea-US joint military exercises in five years—and hours before a Tokyo summit between the leaders of South Korea and Japan—North Korea test-launched an intercontinental ballistic missile Thursday morning. It was Pyongyang's third weapons test this week, and its fourth ICBM test in less than a year, CNN reports. The last one was Feb. 18. Thursday's missile flew about 620 miles and landed in waters between the Korean Peninsula and Japan, the AP reports. South Korea's Joint Chiefs of Staff responded with a statement saying that its military stands ready to "overwhelmingly" respond to North Korean provocation.

As for the South Korea-Japan summit, which the BBC calls "a 'milestone' meeting of frenemies," it's the first time the two countries have held such a summit since 2011. They have a historically difficult relationship, with South Korea having been colonized by Japan from 1910 until the end of World War II. During that time, Japan forced many South Koreans into slavery; South Korean President Yoon Suk Yeol was invited to Tokyo only after he dropped a demand for Japan to give some South Koreans compensation for that. The BBC's explanation: "In doing so he sought to put aside the past for the sake of the security of northeast Asia," because Seoul would do well to work with Japan's military and share intelligence. (More North Korea stories.)

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