North Korea fired two short-range ballistic missiles, the South Korean military said Thursday, shortly after North Korea warned of an “inevitable” response to ongoing US-South Korea joint military exercises.
South Korea and the United States, which are stepping up defense cooperation in response to the growing threat of a nuclear-armed North Korea, are currently conducting a joint large-scale live-fire “annihilation” exercise.
The Seoul Joint Chiefs of Staff reportedly detected the launch of two short-range ballistic missiles from the Sunan area to the East Sea between 19:25 and 19:37 (10:25 to 10:37 GMT). announced and also mentioned water bodies. known as the Sea of Japan.
“We are stepping up our surveillance and working closely with the United States to maintain our readiness for further provocations,” he said, adding that the launch was a “serious provocation” in violation of UN sanctions. rice field.
The Japanese government also confirmed the missile launches, with a defense ministry official telling reporters that the two missiles landed in waters within Japan’s exclusive economic zone.
“The missiles may have flown on irregular trajectories,” Japanese government spokesman Hirokazu Matsuno told reporters, adding that one had an altitude of 50 kilometers and traveled 850 kilometers (530 miles), while the other added that it flew about 900 kilometers before crashing into Japan’s EEZ.
South-North relations are at their worst in years as diplomacy stalls and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un declares the country an “irreversible” nuclear power and calls for increased production of weapons, including tactical nuclear weapons. be. .
North Korea has carried out multiple sanctions-breaking launches this year, including testing its most powerful intercontinental ballistic missile and last month attempting to launch a military spy satellite into orbit.
In response, President Yoon Seok-yeol, the hawkish government of South Korea, announced that, amid the expansion of joint exercises and ill-fated diplomacy, which had been curtailed by the impact of COVID-19, defense with the United States and Japan strengthened cooperation.
Yoon personally observed South Korean and US forces participating in live-fire exercises on Thursday.
All these drills have infuriated North Korea, which it sees as a rehearsal for an invasion.
North Korea issued a statement on Thursday condemning the exercise, with a Defense Ministry spokesman saying it “targets North Korea with a massive mobilization of various types of offensive weapons and equipment,” adding that the country’s gave the official name of
“Our response to this is inevitable,” it added in a statement quoted by the state-run Korean Central News Agency.
He added that the exercise “has heightened military tensions in the region” and warned that “our forces will fully counter any form of demonstration or provocation by the enemy.”
– Litigation –
On Wednesday, South Korea filed a lawsuit against North Korea seeking damages over the 2020 demolition of a liaison office.
The office was set up in an industrial zone near the border of North Korean territory in 2018 with funding from Seoul as then-South Korean President Moon Jae-in called for a diplomatic break with North Korea.
But after that process fell apart and relations soured, North Korea demolished the building in June 2020.
The South Korean government announced it was seeking 44.7 billion won ($35 million) in damages, and the country’s Unification Ministry said the demolition was “clearly illegal”.
North Korea is likely to ignore any court rulings, but South Korea and the United States have precedents for damages awarded to the North Korean government.
“Given the timing, the launch is either North Korea’s dissatisfaction with the South Korean government’s legal action seeking compensation for the destruction of the Kaesong Office,” Choi Gil-il, a professor of military sciences at Sangji University, told AFP. It looks like an expression of protest.”
https://www.theaustralian.com.au/news/latest-news/north-korea-fires-two-shortrange-ballistic-missiles/news-story/82d6239369d5f850e44f7033ed55bf8d North Korea launches two short-range ballistic missiles