Pyongyang fires two missiles in response to ‘military maneuvers’ by Washington and Seoul

North Korea launched two new ballistic missiles on Oct. 6 and called the weapons tests “just retaliation” against Washington and Seoul and their military exercises in the region.

According to the South Korean army, two short-range missiles were launched during the morning from around Pyongyang towards the Sea of ​​Japan. The Japanese Coast Guard confirmed having detected these projectiles. This sixth launch in less than two weeks is “absolutely unacceptable”, Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida immediately reacted.

The first missile traveled 350 kilometers at a maximum altitude of around 80 kilometers, according to the South Korean military’s analysis. The second flew a distance of 800 kilometers at an altitude of 60 kilometers.

Pyongyang justifies “just retaliation” in the face of military maneuvers by Seoul and Washington

The firings are “Korean People’s Army’s just retaliatory measures against the joint military maneuvers between South Korea and the United States which are causing an escalation of military tensions on the Korean Peninsula”, the North Korean ministry said. in a press release.

Seoul, Tokyo and Washington have increased joint military maneuvers in recent weeks, including anti-submarine drills and large-scale naval maneuvers.

According to AFP, the new North Korean firings came as the UN Security Council met in New York to discuss the launch of another North Korean missile which had flown over Japan for two days. earlier.

On October 4, a Hwasong-12-type missile flew over Japan and traveled about 4,600 km, probably the longest distance Pyongyang has ever reached in its tests, according to Seoul and Washington. Following this launch, Washington called for an emergency meeting of the United Nations Security Council. However, China, an ally and economic partner of North Korea, also blamed the United States.

It was the first time in five years that a North Korean projectile passed over Japanese territory. North Korea, which in September adopted a new doctrine making its status as a nuclear power “irreversible”, stepped up its fire this year and launched an intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) for the first time since 2017.

China accuses Washington of “poisoning the regional security environment”.

Pyongyang’s missile tests are “closely linked” to US-South Korean military exercises, Chinese Deputy Ambassador to the United Nations Geng Shuang told the Council. He accused Washington of “poisoning the regional security environment.”

On October 5, South Korea and the United States fired five ballistic missiles – one of which crashed after launch – at fictitious targets in the Sea of ​​Japan. And the day before, the air forces of the two countries had conducted shooting exercises in the Yellow Sea.

Seoul also announced the return to the region of the American nuclear-powered aircraft carrier USS Ronald Reagan, which carried out exercises with the South Korean navy in September.

The Security Council meeting was supported by France, the United Kingdom, Albania, Norway and Ireland. US Ambassador to the UN Linda Thomas-Greenfield denounced “a clear effort by China and Russia to reward [la Corée du Nord] for his bad deeds,” and called for tougher sanctions against Pyongyang.

In May, Beijing and Moscow vetoed a Security Council resolution imposing new sanctions on North Korea, after the body unanimously adopted heavy sanctions in 2017.

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