North Korea keeps up its missile barrage with launch of ICBM

A TV screen showing a news program reporting about North Korea's missile launch with file footage is seen at the Seoul Railway Station in Seoul, South Korea, Thursday, Nov. 3, 2022. North Korea continued its barrage of weapons tests on Thursday, firing at least three missiles including a suspected intercontinental ballistic missile that forced the Japanese government to issue evacuation alerts and temporarily halt trains.  (AP Photo/Lee Jin-man)

A TV screen showing a news program reporting about North Korea’s missile launch with file footage is seen at the Seoul Railway Station in Seoul, South Korea, Thursday, Nov. 3, 2022. North Korea continued its barrage of weapons tests on Thursday, firing at least three missiles including a suspected intercontinental ballistic missile that forced the Japanese government to issue evacuation alerts and temporarily halt trains. (AP Photo/Lee Jin-man)

SEOUL, South Korea (AP) — Alarms blared from cellphones, radios and public loudspeakers and fishermen hurried back to shore in northern Japan on Thursday after North Korea fired an intercontinental ballistic missile above its eastern waters, adding to a recent barrage of provocative weapons demonstrations that officials say may culminate with a nuclear test in coming weeks.

The ICBM test, which was followed by two short-range ballistic launches into the sea, was swiftly condemned by North Korea’s neighbors and the United States, which said it is willing to take “all necessary measures” to ensure the safety of the American homeland and allies South Korea and Japan. The Biden administration also warned of unspecified “additional costs and consequences” if North Korea goes on to detonate a nuclear test device for the first time since September 2017.

Hours after the launches, North Korea threatened to retaliate over a decision by the South Korean and U.S. militaries to extend large-scale joint aerial exercises in response to the North’s increased testing activity. Senior North Korean military official Pak Jong Chon said the allies would regret their “irrevocable and awful mistake,” but did not specify what the North would do in response.

The launches are the latest in a series of North Korean weapons tests in recent months that have raised tensions in the region. They came a day after the North fired more than 20 missiles, the most it has launched in a single day ever.

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