North Korea has launched eight ballistic missiles in two weeks

North Korea has launched eight ballistic missiles in two weeks

North Korea fired eight ballistic missiles in two weeks, including two overnight from Saturday to Sunday, amid heightened tensions with Washington.

Earlier on Saturday, Pyongyang defended its recent spike in ballistic activity as a “legitimate response” to “direct military threats from the United States,” while Washington, Seoul and Tokyo view the missile launches as “a serious threat to peace and security.”

During the night, Pyongyang fired two of these machines towards the sea, the South Korean army said, quoted by the Yonhap news agency.

According to Japanese news agency Kyodo, Japanese Deputy Defense Minister Toshiro Ino said it was possible the missiles were fired from submarines. Their shot took place just before 2 a.m. local time (1700 GMT) and they covered 350 kilometers at a maximum altitude of 100 kilometers, Ino said.

Citing the Japanese government, the same agency said the two missiles were fired towards the Sea of ​​Japan and appeared to have fallen outside Japan’s Exclusive Economic Zone.

For its part, the United States Indo-Pacific Command (IndoPacom) said in a press release that it was “aware of the launch of two ballistic missiles” and reiterated that its will to defend its Japanese and Korean allies remained “intact”. be.

These are the seventh and eighth such firings in two weeks, and they come amid rising tensions with the United States, which has intensified joint military exercises with Seoul and Tokyo over the same period.

“Although our army is increasing its surveillance and vigilance, it remains ready to take action in the field in close cooperation with the United States,” the South Korean staff responded in a press release cited by Yonhap.

– “Regular self-defence” –

North Korean missile tests have increased over the past two weeks. Two ballistic missiles were fired on Thursday and two days earlier the North launched an intermediate-range ballistic missile (IRBM) over Japan, forcing some residents of the archipelago to take cover.

“The missile test launch by (North Korea) is a regular and planned self-defense exercise in defense of the country’s security and regional peace against direct military threats from the United States that have lasted for more than half a year. ‘ the North Korean civil aviation authority said on Saturday, without specifying which launch it was, according to the official KCNA news agency.

State media released the statement after the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO), which holds its annual meeting in Montreal, on Friday condemned ballistic tests conducted by Pyongyang in recent months, calling them a threat to civil aviation.

The reclusive country views this ICAO-adopted resolution as “a political provocation by the United States and its vassal forces, aimed at undermining it [sa] Sovereignty”.

For their part, Seoul, Tokyo and Washington have intensified their joint military exercises in recent weeks and carried out new maneuvers with a US Navy destroyer on Thursday.

The Pyongyang shooting comes amid a record year of weapons testing by the North Korean communist regime, which leader Kim Jong Un has said is an “irreversible” nuclear power, ending the possibility of denuclearization talks.

The United States on Friday announced economic sanctions against two individuals and three organizations accused of being involved in illegal oil exports to North Korea.

– “military bluff” –

Washington, Tokyo and Seoul attended a trilateral meeting on the same day and agreed to “continue to closely coordinate their short- and long-term responses, including with United Nations allies and partners,” the US Department of Defense statement said.

North Korea issued a new statement on Saturday saying it was “following very closely the extremely worrying evolution of the current situation,” referring to the deployment of the American aircraft carrier USS Ronald Reagan during joint US-South Korean maneuvers week.

The drills, jointly conducted by Seoul and Washington, have angered Pyongyang, which the North Korean regime sees as a repeat of an invasion.

These maneuvers are “extremely provocative and threatening,” KCNA said on Saturday, and sees “a kind of military bluff” in the involvement of the USS Ronald Reagan.

Analysts say Pyongyang has taken advantage of disagreements in the UN Security Council to conduct increasingly provocative weapons tests.

Additionally, Seoul and Washington have been warning for months that Pyongyang will conduct another nuclear test, likely after the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) congress, which is scheduled to open on Oct. 16.


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