North Korea launched two short-range ballistic missiles from the Samsok area, in Pyongyang, towards the Sea of Japan in the early hours of Thursday. This was announced by the staff of the South Korean armed forces. “Our armed forces have strengthened monitoring and surveillance and are maintaining maximum readiness in coordination with the United States,” the General Staff also stressed in a statement. The new launches follow Tuesday’s test of an intermediate-range ballistic missile that flew over Japan.
The launch is a “retaliatory measure” against the joint military exercises of the United States and South Korea, the Pyongyang Foreign Ministry said in a statement. The launches, explained the ministry, represent “the right measures of retaliation by the Korean People’s Army against the joint exercises between South Korea and the United States that are increasing military tensions on the Korean peninsula”.
The two missiles were launched 22 minutes away from each other from the North Korean capital region and landed between the Korean Peninsula and Japan, South Korea’s chiefs of staff said. first missile flew 350 kilometers and reached a maximum altitude of 80 kilometers, while the second flew 800 kilometers with an apogee of 60 kilometers. According to Japanese Defense Minister Yasukazu Hamada, the second missile was likely launched on an “irregular” trajectory, a term that was previously used to describe the flight characteristics of a North Korean weapon modeled on the Russian Iskander missile, which travels to low altitudes and is designed to be maneuverable in flight to improve the ability to evade missile defenses.
Usa: Pyongyang’s “provocative attitude”
The reaction from the US was immediate: the ambassador to the UN of the North American country, Linda Thomas-Greenfield, in fact, tweeted: «Our message to North Korea: enough with the reckless, provocative attitude that leads to exclusion. Return to dialogue ».
At the same time, the Indo-Pacific American command nevertheless explained that these missile launches by North Korea did not pose an immediate threat to the allies, stressing that the United States is consulting with the allies. The launches highlight the destabilizing impact of North Korea’s ballistic missile program. The American commitment to defend South Korea and Japan remains firm ”, reads a note.
Kishida – intolerable acts
Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida, who is expected to have a telephone conversation with South Korean President Yoon Suk Yeol very shortly, said the continued launches from the North are “absolutely intolerable”.