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South Korea vs North Korea: sanctions for the first time since 2017

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South Korea vs North Korea: sanctions for the first time since 2017

North Korea launched a short-range ballistic missile, conducted artillery exercises and sent a group of ten military aircraft near the border with South Korea, in the latest provocation by the Kim Jong-un regime, punished with the first sanctions imposed by South Korea since 2017. The new escalation comes amid fears that North Korea may soon carry out a new nuclear test, which would be the seventh in its history and the first in over five years. The North Korean dictator himself described the series of missile launches carried out between September 25 and October 9 – including that of an intermediate-range ballistic missile (Irbm) that flew over Japan, again for the first time. time since 2017 – as “nuclear tactical weapons” exercises, and just weeks earlier North Korea had passed a law that allows pre-emptive strikes should its strategic assets feel threatened.

Late yesterday evening, ten North Korean military planes flew over an area near the border, south of the special reconnaissance line set by South Korea, triggering a response from Seoul, which raised its fighters. The flyovers continued until just over an hour before the launch of a short-range ballistic missile, in the middle of the night, from the Sunan area, near the capital Pyongyang. The missile traveled about 700 kilometers, reaching a maximum altitude of fifty kilometers before ending up outside Japan’s Exclusive Economic Zone, according to the Tokyo survey. North Korea then conducted artillery drills, according to the South Korean Joint Command, firing a total of 170 rounds off the west and east coasts, in violation of a “buffer zone” set in 2018 when it resumed. dialogue with South Korea to reduce military tensions.

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The exercises, a spokesman for the North Korean army said in a note released by the KCNA agency, were “strong military countermeasures” taken by North Korea in response to an apparent South Korean artillery exercise conducted on the day of yesterday: the Korean People’s Army, the military official added, “sends a severe warning” to the South Korean Armed Forces, which exacerbate tensions with “reckless actions”. The latest launch of a ballistic missile by North Korea was condemned by the South Korean Security Council and the Japanese Foreign Minister, Yoshimasa Hayashi, who called it “totally unacceptable”.

South Korea then imposed unilateral sanctions on North Korea, putting fifteen people and sixteen North Korean institutions on its blacklist. This was announced by the Seoul Foreign Ministry, in response to the latest missile and nuclear threats from the Kim Jong-un regime. This is the first time that South Korea has imposed sanctions on North Korea since the beginning of the presidential term of Yoon Suk-yeol, who took office last May, and the first South Korean unilateral sanctions since 2017, imposed following the sixth. and so far last, North Korean nuclear test. “We strongly condemn North Korea for having carried out a series of missile provocations with unprecedented frequency recently and for proposing the use of tactical nuclear weapons against us,” reads a statement from Southern diplomacy. Korea reported by the Yonhap agency, which also speculates on the imposition of further sanctions and talks with the United States, Japan, Australia, the European Union and other countries to “improve the effectiveness” of the sanctions themselves.

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It also condemns the United States, which points the finger at Pyongyang’s refusal to engage in dialogue for denuclearization: the United States had also imposed a new round of sanctions on North Korea after the launch of the IRBM on 4 October last, taking to targets the fuel supply. Today, however, it was the South Korean government that imposed sanctions against Pyongyang for the escalation of the last few weeks, the first of the administration led by Yoon Suk-yeol, inserting fifteen individuals and sixteen entities on its blacklist. South Korea also reserves the right to impose additional sanctions on the Kim Jong-un regime, which for now has sent a clear signal of closure to the dialogue with Seoul and Washington, stressing that “we do not feel the need to do so”: al on the contrary, added the young dictator, “all military countermeasures” will be taken to deal with the “unstable” situation on the Korean peninsula

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