South Korea and US fire four missiles in response to North Korea launch

It is a response to the Pyongyang launch on Tuesday. South Korea and the United States launched four surface-to-surface missiles at sea targets on Wednesday, the day after North Korea fired a ballistic missile that passed over Japan. a first in five years. This North Korean intermediate-range ballistic missile (IRBM) led Tokyo to activate its warning system and ask residents of certain regions to take shelter.

According to the South Korean General Staff, the South Korean and American armies each fired two missiles at the Sea of ​​Japan on Wednesday. Both armies fired two ATACMS short-range ballistic missiles “to accurately hit a virtual target,” the Joint Chiefs of Staff said. These exercises “showed that we are capable and ready to neutralize the origin of the provocation while maintaining a constant monitoring position”, he added in a press release.

The military also confirmed that a South Korean missile failed shortly after launch, crashing with no casualties.

“We are ready to sit at the table without preconditions”

On Tuesday, South Korean and American warplanes had already conducted precision strike exercises, according to Seoul, with the dropping of bombs on a virtual target in the Yellow Sea by two South Korean F-15K warplanes. The spokesman for the American National Security Council John Kirby, interviewed by CNN, indicated that it was a question of “responding to provocations from the North, to ensure that we can demonstrate our own capacities” and “to make sure that we have the military capabilities ready”. “It doesn’t have to come to that. We have made it clear to Kim Jong Un that we are ready to sit down at the table without preconditions,” he added.

North Korea, which has adopted a new doctrine making its status as a nuclear power “irreversible”, stepped up its firing this year and launched an intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) for the first time since 2017. Tuesday’s firing was the fifth in ten days.

UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres denounced an “escalation” and called on Pyongyang “to resume dialogue” in order to achieve “complete and verifiable denuclearization of the Korean peninsula”.

US President Joe Biden and Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida on Tuesday condemned the latest North Korean shooting “in the strongest possible terms”. South Korean President Yoon Suk-yeol for his part deplored a “provocation” which “clearly violates universal principles and United Nations standards”, and ordered “a firm response”.

Seoul, Tokyo and Washington have stepped up joint military maneuvers recently, holding the first trilateral anti-submarine drills in five years on Sept. 30, days after large-scale maneuvers by U.S. and South Korean naval forces off the peninsula. .

About 28,500 American troops are stationed in South Korea to help protect it from its neighbor. South Korean and American officials have been warning for months that North Korean leader Kim Jong Un is preparing to conduct another nuclear test. This could be conducted after the next congress of the Chinese Communist Party which begins on October 16, several senior officials of the American command for Asia-Pacific indicated this weekend.

Unlike other nuclear powers, North Korea does not view this kind of weaponry as a deterrent, never to be used. Pyongyang has tested atomic bombs six times since 2006. The latest and most powerful test came in 2017, with an estimated yield of 250 kilotons.

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