South Korea: North Korea provokes with missile launches

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Written By Maya Cantina

Seoul. According to the South Korean military, North Korea fired about ten missiles towards the open sea. The General Staff in Seoul said on Thursday that they were likely short-range ballistic missiles and a targeted provocation. The projectiles were fired from the capital region of Pyongyang and traveled about 350 kilometers before falling into the sea between the Korean Peninsula and Japan. Further data is still being evaluated in collaboration with the US and Japan, the report said.

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Depending on their design, ballistic missiles can be equipped with a nuclear warhead. North Korea is subject to international sanctions over its nuclear weapons and missile programs. Launches and even tests of ballistic missiles from any range are banned by UN resolutions in the isolated country. However, the leadership in Pyongyang repeatedly ignores these bans.

The new rocket launch came two days after North Korea’s failed attempt to put a satellite into orbit for military use. The “new type” launch vehicle carrying the reconnaissance satellite “Maligyong-1-1” exploded in mid-air shortly after take-off, state media reported on Tuesday evening (local time).

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South Korea held an air force exercise with several fighter jets near the inter-Korean border on Monday after North Korea announced the launch of the satellite. A day later, North Korean leader Kim Jong Un threatened a firm response to the military exercise.

Criticism of satellite launches

North Korea fires missiles during Blinken’s visit to South Korea

Blinken traveled to Seoul on Sunday to participate in the third Summit for Democracy, initiated by US President Joe Biden.

The satellite launch, which ultimately failed, was met with international criticism. Like the United States and South Korea, UN Secretary General António Guterres accused North Korea of ​​using technology directly related to its ballistic missile program. The federal government also condemned the start for the same reasons. North Korea criticized Guterres’ statement, citing a Foreign Ministry statement that it was merely exercising its right to use space like other countries.

After an intermediate phase of de-escalation, the conflict on the Korean Peninsula has recently become considerably more explosive. Since the beginning of 2022, North Korea has increasingly tested ballistic missiles and other weapons. Rhetoric against the governments of South Korea and the United States, which have expanded military cooperation, has also intensified.

RND/dpa

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