North Korea launches 2 more ballistic missiles; You end up in the Sea of Japan
North Korea launched two more ballistic missiles Thursday morning, one of which landed in the Sea of Japan, US officials confirmed to CBS News. Officials said the second missile landed in North Korea.
It’s unclear if Thursday’s launches were a direct response to Wednesday’s announcement that the US aircraft carrier USS Ronald Reagan would be returning to waters east of South Korea. The carrier was part of exercises with South Korea and Japan last week.
South Korea’s Joint Chiefs of Staff said in a statement that the two missiles were launched from Pyongyang toward the Sea of Japan about 22 minutes apart.
“North Korea’s successive launching of ballistic missiles is a serious provocation, damaging not only the peace and stability on the Korean Peninsula but also the international community, and it is in clear violation of the ‘UN Security Council Resolution’,” so said the Joint Chiefs of Staff.
Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida also confirmed the North Korean missile launches and said the gunfire was “absolutely unbearable”.
The launches marked the North’s sixth round of gunfire in less than two weeks, leading to condemnation from the US and other countries. It also came just two days after North Korea launched an intermediate-range missile over Japan for the first time in five years. Foreign experts said the missile launched on Tuesday contained a weapon that could reach the US Pacific area of Guam and beyond.
The country has launched nearly 40 ballistic missiles about 20 different launch events take advantage of this year Russia’s war against Ukraine and the resulting deep split in the UN Security Council to speed up its arms development without risking further sanctions.
Debate over how to deal with Tuesday’s missile launch over Japanese territory split an already deeply divided UN Security Council on Wednesday, with Russia and China insisting US-led military exercises in the region had provoked North Korea into action.
Wednesday’s meeting ended with no agreement on next steps, despite warnings from the US and its allies that the council’s failure to reach a consensus on North Korea’s record number of missile launches this year emboldens North Korea and undermines the authority of the United Nations’ most powerful Body.
The North’s spate of weapons tests in recent days came after the US held military exercises with South Korea and Japan in the waters off the east coast of the Korean Peninsula.
Tuesday’s drills were conducted to show a joint ability to deter a North Korean attack on the south. The Allies conducted training bombing raids from F-15 strike jets using precision munitions, each launching two missiles that are part of the Army Tactical Missile System.
However, one of South Korea’s ballistic missiles malfunctioned and fell on land during the exercise, with the sound of the explosion and subsequent fire causing panic among residents of the coastal city of Gangneung.
North Korea regards such drills as an invasion rehearsal. The country fired its own rocket hours before exercises in its most provocative demonstration since 2017. The nuclear-capable ballistic missile fired has a range capable of hitting Guam, home to one of the largest US-maintained military installations in Asia. North Korea also tested missiles capable of hitting the continental United States in 2017.
After Tuesday’s launch, the United States, Britain, France, Albania, Norway and Ireland called an emergency UN Security Council meeting.