North Korea ballistic missile launch
North Korea conducted another banned missile test just hours after the visit of US Vice President Kamala Harris, the South Korean military says.
Two short-range ballistic missiles were launched into the sea off the northeast coast, the report said. It follows Ms. Harris’ visit to the demilitarised zone that divides South Korea.
This year has been a record year for missile tests in North Korea, and the latest launches are scheduled to send a message.
They came this week as the United States and South Korea conducted joint naval exercises around the Korean Peninsula. Earlier Thursday, Harris met with South Korean leader Yoon Seok-yeol shortly after arriving in the capital, Seoul.
Both condemned North Korea’s actions.
In a White House statement, the two leaders criticised North Korea’s “provocative nuclear rhetoric and ballistic missile launches” and “reaffirmed (their) direction and goal of the complete denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula.” said.
The vice president also stressed that “the United States is committed to defending [South Korea]… We welcomed [their] close cooperation.”
With denuclearization talks between North Korea and the United States stalled for so long, these launches follow a broader escalation pattern in which Washington ramps up its defences while North Korea continues to build and improve its weapons. is part of
This week’s missiles — the first on Sunday before the start of naval exercises, followed by the night before Mr Harris’s visit and the final two hours after her departure — are the first since early June. But North Korea has tested more: it will have 30 arms so far in 2022, more than any other year.
Experts believe the launches are in retaliation for joint naval exercises as Washington and Seoul bolster South Korea’s defences — the four-day joint exercises are the first to involve a U.S. aircraft carrier since 2017.
In a speech to the General Assembly earlier this week, North Korea’s ambassador to the United Nations, Song Kim, criticized military exercises between the United States and South Korea, saying they were pushing the Korean peninsula “to the brink of war.” He said the US’ “hostile policy” toward North Korea was the reason the world was now “in a much more dangerous phase.”
South Korea and the United States have long defended joint exercises aimed at stabilizing the region.
The secretive communist state’s growing assertiveness about possessing nuclear weapons worries the United States and South Korea.
Earlier this month, North Korea passed a bill declaring itself a nuclear state. Leader Kim Jong-un vowed that his country would never give up its arms or participate in negotiations on nuclear disarmament.
The law also allows North Korea to fire first in various scenarios. Until recently, the country always claimed the weaponry to be a deterrent to prevent war.
US and South Korean intelligence have suggested for months that North Korea is ready to test a nuclear weapon but is waiting for a political opportunity.
This is her seventh nuclear test and first in five years. South Korea’s intelligence services told politicians on Wednesday that the nuclear test could take place in mid-October to early November, possibly between the Chinese Communist Party Congress and before the US midterm elections.
President Yoon, who took office in May, has focused on strengthening the alliance between South Korea and the United States to counter the North Korean threat.
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