North Korea Fires Ballistic Missile Toward Sea: South Korean Military

NTD Staff
By NTD Staff
November 17, 2022Asia & Pacificshare

North Korea has fired a short-range ballistic missile off its east coast, according to the South Korean military on Thursday, marking the first missile firing in just over a week.

The statement from South Korea’s Joint Chiefs of Staff said it detected Pyongyang’s launch from the Wonsan area in Kangwon Province at 10:48 a.m. It did not provide further details.

The South Korean Joint Chiefs of Staff also said, per Yonhap News Agency: “While strengthening our monitoring and vigilance, our military is maintaining a full readiness posture in close cooperation with the United States.”

It was the first launch in eight days; Pyongyang last fired a short-range ballistic missile into the East Sea on Nov. 9. It is also the latest in its series of missile tests in recent months.

The latest launch comes just hours after North Korea threatened to launch “fiercer” military actions toward the United States if Washington opts to continue with its security commitment to help defend its allies in the region.

North Korean Foreign Minister Choe Son Hue warned on Thursday prior to the missile launch that a recent U.S.-South Korea-Japan summit accord on the North would leave tensions on the Korean Peninsula “more unpredictable.”

The statement marked North Korea’s first formal response to the trilateral meeting between President Joe Biden, Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida, and South Korean leader Yoon Suk Yeol, which was held on Nov. 13 in Cambodia.

Joe Biden
U.S. President Joe Biden holds a trilateral meeting with Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida and South Korean President Yoon Suk-yeol in Phnom Penh, Cambodia, on Nov. 13, 2022. (Kevin Lamarque/Reuters)

During a separate meeting with Kishida on the same day, Biden “reaffirmed the U.S. extended deterrence commitment to [South Korea] using the full range of U.S. defense capabilities, including nuclear, conventional, and missile defense capabilities and emphasized the U.S. commitment to identify additional steps to further reinforce deterrence in the face of [North Korea’s] nuclear threats,” according to a statement from the White House.

South Korean leader Yoon Suk Yeol noted on Nov. 13 that since he took office in May, North Korea has launched around 50 missiles, with “intensive” missile-firing from the end of October.

One of these missiles, Yoon pointed out, crossed the maritime border and landed in South Korean territorial waters for the first time since the maritime boundary—the Northern Limit Line—was drawn by the United Nations Command at the end of the 1950-53 Korean War. He called it a “extremely serious provocation” by Pyongyang.

Those missiles came amid joint drills between U.S., South Korea, and Japanese troops. Those drills involved a U.S. aircraft carrier and U.S. B-1B supersonic bombers for the first time since 2017.

In the past several years, annual military training between Seoul and Washington had been scaled back or canceled, in part to support now-dormant diplomacy with North Korea and guard against the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

From The Epoch Times

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