SOUTH KOREA and the United States fired a volley of missiles in response to North Korea’s launch of a ballistic missile over Japan.
Nuclear-armed North Korea has launched a nuclear-capable missile farther than ever, launching one over Japan for the first time in five years and issuing a warning to take cover.
It was the fifth missile test ordered by the rogue state’s tyrannical ruler Kim Jong-un in recent days.
South Korean President Yoon Suk-yeol called the launch a “provocation” and promised a “serious response”.
That took the form of the South and the US each launching a pair of US-made short-range ATACMS ballistic missiles into the Yellow Sea off North Korea.
The two countries’ warplanes also practiced precision bombing of a target at sea.
US President Joe Biden and Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida condemned North Korea’s test in the “strongest possible terms”.
The European Union called it a “reckless and deliberately provocative action,” while UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said it violated Security Council resolutions.
The last time Pyongyang fired a missile over Japan was in 2017, at the height of a period of “fire and fury”.
North Korean leader Kim Jong-un exchanged insults with then-US President Donald Trump before the two finally met to reach peace on the Korean peninsula.
During the latest test – Pyongyang’s fifth launch in a week – Japan ordered its citizens to evacuate buildings or seek shelter underground.
South Korea’s joint chiefs of staff said the test appeared to have taken place from an intermediate-range ballistic missile (IRBM) launched from North Korea’s Jagang province.
North Korea recently conducted several tests from there, including multiple missiles, which it described as “hypersonic.”
The missile may have been the Hwasong-12 that North Korea unveiled in 2017 as part of a plan to attack US military bases in Guam, said Kim Dong-yup, a former South Korean navy officer.
US-Japan fighter jets also conducted joint drills over the Sea of Japan as the three nations flexed their military muscles.
A US aircraft carrier called at a port in South Korea on Sept. 23 for the first time since 2018.
This period also saw joint exercises by the United States, South Korea and Japan and a visit by US Vice President Kamala Harris to the Korean fortified border.
Despite decades of US-led sanctions, North Korea’s increasingly sophisticated missile and nuclear bomb programs have not been contained.
Kim Jong-un has shown no interest in turning back a failed path of diplomacy he embarked on with Trump.
His powerful sister turned down South Korea’s offer of an economic boost in exchange for the North’s renunciation of nuclear weapons.
Kim Yo-jong said the country will “never” engage in a “bold” initiative.
Such a plan is ignorant and “the pinnacle of folly far from being realized,” she said.
https://www.the-sun.com/news/6368971/us-south-korea-fire-missiles-response-north-korea/ The US and South Korea fire a volley of missiles in response to North Korea launching a “nuclear missile” over Japan