North Korea fires ballistic missile at Sea of Japan
This is the fourth show of force by Pyongyang's share in a week, which the United States and Japan have not failed to denounce.
A month ago, the Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) published this photo of a cruise missile launch which took place on an unspecified date. (File photo)
North Korea fired a short-range ballistic missile on Sunday, according to the South Korean military. This is its fourth show of force in a week, as Seoul and Washington conduct their largest joint military exercises in five years.
Our military has detected a short-range ballistic missile fired from the vicinity of the Tongchang-ri area in [northwest] North Pyongan Province at 11:05 a.m. toward the East Sea, the government said. Joint Chiefs of Staff (JCS), referring to the Sea of Japan by its Korean name.
US and South Korean intelligence are analyzing the projectile, which flew 800 kilometers, the JCS said in a statement, calling the launch a serious provocation in violation of UN sanctions.
The JCS added that the military stands ready to retaliate overwhelmingly, while continuing intensive and thorough military maneuvers and exercises.
Seoul and Washington have been carrying out their largest military maneuvers in five years since Monday, supposed to strengthen their cooperation in the face of the growing threat from the North. Called Freedom Shield, they are to last until March 23.
The US military's Indo-Pacific Command also condemned the firing, which underscores the the destabilizing impact of banned North Korean weapons programs.
Tokyo also confirmed the shooting while vehemently condemning it through its embassy in Beijing, Deputy Defense Minister Toshiro Ino told reporters.
US armed forces B-1B bombers and F-16 fighter jets as well as army F-35As of the South Korean air force participate in a joint exercise.
The drills conducted by Seoul and Washington infuriate Pyongyang, which sees them as rehearsals of an invasion of its territory and which regularly promises a crushing response.
They are closing in on& #x27;an unforgivable red line, North Korean official news agency KCNA said about them on Saturday.
A few hours after this last launch, the Ministry of Defense in Seoul reported aerial maneuvers involving at least one B-1B long-range bomber and F-16 aircraft on the American side, as well as F-35A stealth fighters on the southern side. -Korean.
Sunday's shooting comes a day after a KCNA announcement that more than 800,000 young volunteers determined to ruthlessly wipe out the war-obsessed have joined the army to fight the American imperialists.
More than 800,000 volunteers have recently joined the North Korean army, according to the official news agency. (File photo)
On Thursday, Pyongyang fired its Hwasong-17 intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM), the most powerful in its arsenal, in the presence of leader Kim Jong-un and his daughter, and just before a visit to Japan by South Korean President Yoon Suk-yeol.
Cold for years due to a historical dispute, the two neighbors resumed discussions at the highest level and decided to present a united front against North Korea.
Mr. Yoon also announced the reactivation of the General Security of Military Information Agreement (GSOMIA). This pact, signed in 2016 but called into question by Seoul in 2019 due to diplomatic tensions, allows the exchange of military intelligence.
Thursday was Pyongyang's second ICBM test this year, which KCNA said at the time was a response to frenzied military drills by South Korea and the United States.
This firing itself came after the launch of two short-range ballistic missiles on Tuesday and, on March 12, two strategic cruise missiles from a submarine.
On Sunday, G7 foreign ministers condemned the latest ICBM launch, saying North Korea's dangerous behavior requires a swift and united response from the international community, including significant new Security Council action. of the UN.
The latter must hold an emergency meeting on Monday about this same test, at the request of Washington and Tokyo, according to the x27;Yonhap News Agency.
In a statement released by KCNA, the North Korean Foreign Ministry spoke of legitimate self-defense countermeasures and strongly warned the United States and other countries that would submit these to the x27;Council review.
In a separate statement, the ministry slammed the United States and its ambassador to the United Nations, whom it considers obsessed with implementing of unethical sanctions against North Korea.
Experts had reported that Pyongyang would probably use these maneuvers as an excuse to fire more missiles and perhaps even carry out a nuclear test, which would be the seventh in its history and the first since 2017.
The G7 condemned the latest ballistic missile launch and claimed that the dangerous behavior of North Korea, led by Kim Jong-un, requires a swift and united response from the international community. (File photo)
Last year, North Korea declared its status as a nuclear power irreversible, and Kim Jong-un called for an exponential increase in the country's military arsenal, including tactical nuclear weapons.
Earlier this month, the leader ordered the military to step up his own maneuvers for real war.