North and South Korea trade missile launches as tensions escalate

Seoul, South Korea After North Korea fired at least 17 missiles on Wednesday, air raid sirens sounded over the South Korean island and residents took refuge in underground shelters. At least one of them was aimed in that direction and landed near the rival’s tense maritime border.

The launch came hours after North Korea threatened. use nuclear weapons Protest the ongoing South Korean-US military exercises, which the United States and South Korea view as rehearsals for aggression, to make them “pay the most terrible price in history.” The White House has insisted the United States has no hostile intentions toward North Korea and vowed to work with allies to curb North Korea’s nuclear ambitions.

The barrage of missile tests by North Korea also came as the world’s attention turned to South Korea after the weekend’s Halloween tragedy. 150 dead as crowd surges in Seoul It was the biggest disaster in the country for many years.

South Korea’s military said North Korea fired at least 17 missiles from its east and west coasts Wednesday morning. Approximately 100 shells were fired into the Eastern Sea Buffer Zone created by

The 17 missile launches are a record number of daily weapons tests by North Korea in recent years.

A North Korean missile landed on the coast of South Korea for the first time.South responds with its own launch
People watch TV news that North Korea launched a ballistic missile from its east coast on November 2, 2022 in Seoul, South Korea.

Hong Ji Kim / Reuters

One of the missiles launched by North Korea was a ballistic weapon, which flew toward South Korea’s Ulleungdo Island, but eventually landed 104 miles northwest of the island. The South Korean military then issued an air raid warning for the island, according to South Korea’s Joint Chiefs of Staff. South Korean media released photos of islanders moving to underground shelters.

Hours later on Wednesday, the South Korean military announced it had lifted an air raid warning for the island.

The missile landed 16 miles from the rival’s sea border. The landing site is in international waters, but far south of the border extension off the east coast of South Korea. South Korea’s military said it was the first time a North Korean missile had landed near the sea boundary since the 1948 division of the two Koreas.

“This is highly unprecedented and will never be tolerated,” South Korea’s Joint Chiefs of Staff said in a separate statement.

In 2010, North Korea shelled a front-line South Korean island off the west coast of the peninsula, killing four people. It’s not a banned ballistic missile.

Later on Wednesday, South Korean fighter jets launched three air-to-surface precision-guided missiles near the eastern sea border in a show of determination to tackle North Korea’s provocations. The South Korean military said the missile landed in the high seas 16 miles north of the maritime border extension, the same distance that the North Korean missile dropped Wednesday.

It said it was ready to win an “overwhelming victory” over North Korea in a potential conflict.

Leif-Eric Easley, a professor at Ewha University in Seoul, said: “North Korea launching missiles in such a way as to sound an air raid siren is a way to intimidate South Koreans into pressuring the government to change its policies. seems to be intended,” he said. “North Korea’s expanding military capabilities and testing are worrisome, but any concessions on alliance cooperation or nuclear approval would exacerbate the situation.”

South Korea’s Joint Chiefs of Staff previously identified three of North Korea’s launched weapons as “short-range ballistic missiles” launched from the North Korean east coast town of Wonsan.

North Korea’s short-range weapons are designed to hit key installations, including US military bases in South Korea.

At an emergency meeting with top security officials, South Korean President Yoon Suk-yeol ordered the authorities to take unspecified swift steps to make North Korea face the consequences of its provocation. He said he would consider the landing of a North Korean missile near the border a “substantial encroachment on (our) territorial waters.”

According to South Korea’s presidential office, at an emergency meeting in South Korea, “participants lamented provocations committed during the period of national mourning, noting that this clearly demonstrates the nature of the North Korean government.”

In the early hours of Wednesday, Japan’s Defense Minister Hamada told reporters that at least two ballistic missiles launched by North Korea may have exhibited “irregular” trajectories. This suggests that the missile is North Korea’s highly maneuverable, nuclear-capable KN-23 missile modeled after Russia’s Iskandar missile.

Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida said North Korea’s continued missile tests were “absolutely unacceptable.”

US and South Korean officials told CBS News that North Korean leader Kim Jong-un is preparing to conduct a nuclear test soon as he continues to develop a tactical nuclear weapon. shows Kim Jong-un’s success in expanding his weapons program through the Trump and Biden administrations. COVID-19 Pandemic.

“They think they are ready.

Tactical nuclear weapons are designed for potential use on the battlefield.

Cheong Seong-Chang, an analyst at South Korea’s private Sejong Institute, said the risk of armed clashes between South Korea off the west or east coast has increased. He said South Korea must respond to North Korea’s provocations with a “proportionate response” rather than an “overwhelming one,” with tensions spiraling out of control and North Korea using tactical nuclear weapons. Said it was necessary to prevent the possibility.

Hostility on the Korean peninsula has increased in recent months. North Korea tests array of nuclear-capable missilesAdopt legislation that permits the first use of nuclear weapons in a wide range of circumstances. Some experts suspect North Korea will be the first to use nuclear weapons in the face of US and South Korean military power.

North Korea said its recent weapons tests were intended to alert Washington and Seoul to a series of joint military exercises it sees as rehearsals for aggression, including this week’s exercises involving about 240 fighter jets. claims.

In a statement released early Wednesday, Park Jong-chun, secretary of the ruling Workers’ Party, who is considered a close friend of Kim Jong-un, called the so-called warning storm air force training “offensive and provocative.” called.

“If the United States and South Korea are willing to use force (against North Korea) without fear, the special means of the (North Korean) military will carry out strategic missions without delay,” Park said. . country’s nuclear weapons.

“The United States and South Korea will face horrific events and will have to pay the most horrific price in history,” he said.

US and South Korean officials have been adamant that their training was defensive in nature and had no intention of attacking North Korea. North and South Korea trade missile launches as tensions escalate

Related Articles

Back to top button