North Korea launches ballistic missile before U.S. Vice President Harris’ visit

SEOUL, Sept 25, (Reuters) – North Korea fired a missile at the sea off its east coast Sunday ahead of planned military drills by South Korean forces and U.S forces. The drills included an aircraft carrier, and a U.S. Vice President Kamala Harris’s visit to the region.

South Korea’s military claimed it was a short-range, single-range missile that flew 600km (373 miles) at an altitude 60 km and Mach 5. In a statement, the Joint Chiefs of Staff of South Korea stated that North Korea’s launch of a missile was a grave provocation and a threat to the security of the Korean peninsula as well as the international community.

The Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Kim Seungkyum and the U.S. The Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Kim Seung-kyum and the U.S. discussed the situation. They also reaffirmed their readiness for any threat or provocation by North Korea. South Korea’s National Security Council met to discuss emergency response measures.

South Korean President Yoon Suk-yeol arrived in Seoul on Saturday after a trip to the United States, Canada and Britain. He was briefed about the launch. Hamada stated that the missile fell outside Japan’s economic zone, and that there were no reports of any problems with shipping or air traffic.

Experts have confirmed that many of the North Korean short-range missiles have been developed to avoid missile defenses. They are capable of maneuvering during flight and fly on a lower trajectory.

Hamada stated that if you add launches of cruise missiles, this is the nineteenth launch. This is an unheard-of pace.

“North Korea’s actions represent a threat to peace and security in our country, the region, and the international community, and to do so as the Ukraine invasion unfolds, is unforgivable,” said he, adding that Japan had sent a protest through the North Korean embassy in Beijing.

In a statement issued after the launch, the U.S. Indo-pacific Command stated that it was aware of the launch. It also consulted closely with allies.

“While we believe that this event is not an immediate threat for U.S. personnel, territory, or our allies, the missile launch highlights how the DPRK has illegal Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD) and missile programs have a destabilizing impact.”


This launch follows the arrival of the nuclear-powered American aircraft carriers USS Ronald Reagan and Harris in South Korea for four days of joint drills. Continue reading

After firing eight short-range missiles, the North launched this launch for the first time. The United States called for additional sanctions to punish the North for violating U.N. Security Council resolutions.

North Korea has rejected U.N. resolutions because they infringe on its sovereign right of self defense and space exploration. It also criticised previous joint drills between the United States of America and South Korea as evidence of their hostile policies.

China and Russia have also criticised the drills. They have asked all sides to refrain from taking steps that could raise tensions in this region and called for an end to sanctions.

The United States and South Korea announced that they would increase joint drills and military power displays to disarm North Korea after it conducted unprecedented missile tests in 2018.

Leif-Eric Easley is an international affairs professor at Ewha University, Seoul. He stated that “Defense exercises will not prevent North Korean missile testing.”

He said that U.S.-South Korea security cooperation helps to deter North Korean attacks and counter Pyongyang’s coercion. The allies should not allow provocations to stop them from carrying out military training and exchanging the necessary information to keep the alliance together.

South Korea’s Yonhap news agency reported Saturday that North Korea might also be preparing for a submarine-launched missile (SLBM) test, citing the South’s military.

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