North Korea continues to provoke – politics
On Friday morning (local time), North Korea fired another short-range ballistic missile eastwards and also let warplanes fly close to the border with South Korea, further escalating tensions in the region.
A statement from South Korea’s general staff said the missile was fired from North Korea’s capital region at 1:49 a.m. local time, 5:49 p.m. Thursday German time. South Korea responded by stepping up its surveillance efforts and maintaining its military readiness in close coordination with the United States, it said.
In a separate statement, South Korea’s chiefs of staff said North Korea had also flown fighter jets, believed to be ten, near the border between the two countries. The North Korean planes approached to within twelve kilometers of the inner-Korean border. According to the chiefs of staff, South Korea responded by deploying F-35 jets and other fighter jets.
The North Korean military in turn accused South Korea of conducting artillery shelling near the border for about ten hours on Friday morning. It is not yet clear whether this was an exercise or the targeted shelling of North Korea. However, the North Korean military said it had taken unspecified “strong military countermeasures”.
North Korea’s recent military actions, particularly the missile tests, “pose a threat to Japan, the region and the international community and are absolutely intolerable.” Japanese Defense Minister Yasukazu Hamada said. “Regardless of intentions, North Korea’s repeated launches of ballistic missiles are absolutely unacceptable, and we cannot fail to see that the country has significantly advanced its missile technology,” Hamada said. The Japanese defense minister said the missile had traveled up to 650 kilometers and reached a maximum altitude of 50 kilometers before landing in the waters between the Korean Peninsula and Japan. The missile also flew on an “irregular” trajectory – a possible allusion to the highly maneuverable KN-23 weapon modeled on the Russian Iskander missile.
The US Indo-Pacific Command said the North Korean missile launch posed no immediate threat to US personnel, territory or its allies. Nevertheless, the US command added, US commitments to the defense of South Korea and Japan remain ” iron”.
North Korea said Monday its missile tests over the past two weeks have simulated nuclear attacks on key targets in South Korea and the United States. Tests included a new medium-range missile that flew over Japan, demonstrating its potential range to the US Pacific Territory of Guam, and a ballistic missile that was launched from inland water for the first time. According to North Korean leader Kim Jong-un, the weapons tests were intended as a warning to Seoul and Washington, who have held joint naval exercises involving a US aircraft carrier.
After previous tests, Kim Jong-un had vowed the readiness of his nuclear forces, which he said were fully prepared for “actual war with mobile, accurate and powerful” weapon systems to bring the enemy under his control in one fell swoop. . According to the AP news agency, North Korea passed a new law last month that allows the preemptive use of nuclear weapons in a variety of situations.