• Thursday, April 18, 2024
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North Korea’s missile showoff triggers South Korea

Japan, South Korea raise alarm over North Korea’s missile test

North Korea on Wednesday fired at least 17 missiles into a body of water 38 miles off South Korea’s coast which also crossed a disputed maritime border outside of South Korea’s territorial waters. The action has been described as ‘territorial encroachment’ by Yoon Suk-Yeol, President of South Korea.

A few hours later, South Korea said that its jets had launched three air-to-ground missiles into the water near the maritime border between the two nations. According to the transport ministry, some air routes along the nation’s east coast had also been closed to commercial aviation.

The Joint Chiefs of Staff (JCS) of South Korea said the missiles its planes launched are to show the country’s will to respond in kind to aggression.

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“Our military response reinforces our will to forcefully respond to any provocations (by North Korea) and shows that we are capable of correctly targeting our enemy,” Yonhap News Agency reported.

The launch was “very unusual and absolutely unacceptable”, the JCS said, adding that it would respond “decisively”.

The South Korean military reported that the North also launched more than 100 artillery shells into a military buffer zone created by a military agreement with the South from its east coast.

According to the JCS, the firing violates the 2018 agreement.

The National Security Council was called together by Yoon Suk-yeol, who denounced the “unprecedented” launches that occurred during a time of national mourning for the 156 victims of the stampede.

He was quoted as saying in a statement following the NSC meeting that firing a missile south of the NLL was “tantamount to territorial encroachment,” with his office pledging a “quick and forceful response” to ensure North Korea “pays the price for provocation.”