South Korea calls it a ‘test’ of new government
SEOUL — North Korea fired eight short-range ballistic missiles towards the sea off its east coast on Sunday, likely its largest single test, a day after South Korea and the United States ended joint military drills.
The bilateral exercises involved an American aircraft carrier for the first time in more than four years.
South Korea’s Joint Chiefs of Staff said that at least eight missiles were fired from the Sunan area of the North Korean capital Pyongyang and they flow between 110 km-600 km (70-370 miles) at altitudes between 25 km to 90 km.
In response, South Korea President Yoon Suk-yeol convened a National Security Council (NSC) meeting and ordered “expanded deterrence of South Korea and the United States and continued reinforcement of united defense posture”.
The NSC meeting concluded that the missile launch was North Korea’s “test and challenge” of the security readiness of South Korea’s new administration, which took office last month, the president’s office said in a news release.
South Korea’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs said Kim Gunn, its Special Representative for Korean Peninsula Peace and Security Affairs, discussed the provocation with US Special Representative Sung Kim, the US point man on North Korean affairs. Kim Gunn also held a telephone conference with his Japanese counterpart Funakoshi Takehiro.
Japanese Defense Minister Nobuo Kishi said the North had launched multiple missiles, and that the act “cannot be tolerated.” He said at a briefing that at least one missile had a variable trajectory, which indicates it could maneuver to evade missile defenses.
The US Indo-Pacific Command said in a statement that North Korea’s multiple ballistic missile launches highlighted the destabilizing impact of its illicit weapons…
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