South Korea’s government claimed the ballistic missile that landed in waters off the Korean peninsula was fired by North Korea.
The short-range ballistic missile was fired from North Korea’s eastern coastal Wonsan area at 10:48 a.m., local time, the country’s Joint Chiefs of Staff confirmed. The missile was launched hours after N. Korea officials threatened “fiercer” military reaction to what they called provocation by the U.S., S. Korea and Japan.
Fox News further reported:
South Korea has boosted its surveillance of North Korea amid the growing missile threat and continues to maintain a military readiness for a potential conflict, officials said.
Hours before Thursday’s launch, North Korean Foreign Minister Choe Son Hue warned the recent U.S.-South Korea-Japan summit would disrupt tensions on the Korean Peninsula and leave them “more unpredictable.”
“The keener the U.S. is on the ‘bolstered offer of extended deterrence’ to its allies and the more they intensify provocative and bluffing military activities on the Korean Peninsula and in the region, the fiercer (North Korea’s) military counteraction will be, in direct proportion to it,” Choe said. “It will pose a more serious, realistic and inevitable threat to the U.S. and its vassal forces.”
Choe added: “The U.S. will be well aware that it is gambling for which it will certainly regret.”
The statement came in response to President Joe Biden’s trilateral summit with South Korean and Japanese state leaders during a regional gathering in Cambodia on Sunday.
The three leaders released a joint statement strongly condemning North Korea’s recent missile tests and saying they would continue to work together to strengthen deterrence.
Separately, Biden reaffirmed the U.S. commitment to defend South Korea and Japan with a full range of capabilities, including its nuclear arms, should there be any threat to their sovereignty.
South Korea’s Defense Ministry spokesperson Moon Hong Sik told reporters the security cooperation among Seoul, Washington and Tokyo was committed to nuclear deterrence.
North Korea has regularly conducted missile tests, including short- and medium-range ballistic missile tests, as it looks to develop a weapon capable of striking the U.S. The launch was North Korea’s first missile firing in eight days, although its barrages have spanned months.
Many experts say North Korea anticipates using the threat of nuclear warfare to leverage bigger concessions from rivals.
On Thursday, Choe said “the U.S. and its followers staged large-scale war drills for aggression one after another, but they failed to contain North Korea’s overwhelming counteraction.”
North Korea has claimed its recent testing activities are legitimate military counteractions to cooperation between U.S. and South Korean military forces, which it views as military drills and offensive preparation for attacks on the North.
Washington and Seoul have repeatedly said their exercises are defensive.
Scroll down to leave a comment and share your thoughts.