North Korea fired two short-range ballistic missiles using its latest launcher, which it said can carry out a “tactical nuclear strike” capable of eliminating enemy airbases, amid tension ahead of US-South Korean military drills .
Was the second launch in 48 hoursafter North Korea fired an intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) on Saturday, saying the move demonstrated its ability to launch a “deadly nuclear counterstrike.”
In response to North Korea’s launch of the ICBM, the United States and South Korea held joint aerial exercises involving a strategic bomber and stealth fighters on Sunday, South Korea said.
The ICBM launched two days ago fell into the sea in Japan’s exclusive economic zone, the Japanese government said.
Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida has called for a UN Security Council meeting, scheduled for Tuesday, to discuss the latest North Korean actions, the AFP news agency reported.
The South Korean armed forces said they detected the launch of the missiles fired from South Pyongan province between 7:00 a.m. and 7:11 a.m. local time today.
They called the launches “a serious provocation that undermines the peace and stability of the Korean peninsula and called on North Korea to cease “immediately.”
The North Korean Army fired the shots. in response to joint exercises by the United States and South Korea, and held those countries responsible for the deteriorating security situation on the Korean peninsulaNorth Korean state news agency KCNA said.
North Korea has technically been at war with South Korea and the United States since the Korean War, between 1950 and 1953, ended with an armistice rather than a peace treaty. The United States has 28,500 troops in South Korea.
“With today’s (Monday) firing exercise, which involved multiple and super-large rocket launchers, tactical nuclear strike means, the KPA demonstrated its full ability to deter and respond” to joint air exercises, KCNA added.
Meanwhile, the powerful sister of the North Korean leader, Kim Jong-un, warned that her country closely monitors the actions of Washington and Seoul and threatened a “corresponding response” to the joint air maneuvers.
“The frequency of using the Pacific as our firing range depends on the actions of US forces,” Kim Yo-jong said in a statement carried by KCNA.
According to North Korea, the launch of an ICBM on Saturday was a “surprise” maneuver that it said demonstrated its ability to carry out a “deadly nuclear counterattack.”
Seoul and Washington plan to carry out military simulation exercises to improve their response capacity in the event of a possible North Korean nuclear attack.
North Korea last week warned of an “unprecedented” response to the upcoming exercises, which it calls preparations for war and blames for the deteriorating security situation on the Korean peninsula.
Relations between the two Koreas are at one of their lowest points in years, after the North declared itself an “irreversible” nuclear power and Kim called for an “exponential” increase in weapons production, including tactical nuclear weapons. .