Seoul, South Korea
North Korea fired the largest number of short-range missiles in a day, South Korea’s military said on Wednesday, as Seoul retaliated against Pyongyang’s latest barrage of weapons tests, further raising tensions in the region.
North Korea fired 23 types of missiles at the east and west coasts of the Korean peninsula, including a surface-to-air missile at sea off the east and west coasts of the Korean peninsula, South Korea’s defense ministry said. .
One of the missiles launched by Pyongyang was a short-range ballistic missile that landed near South Korean waters for the first time since the division of Korea, Seoul’s Joint Chiefs of Staff (JCS) said.
The JCS said the missile landed in international waters about 167 kilometers (104 miles) northwest of South Korea’s Ulleung Island, about 26 kilometers south of the Northern Limit Line (NLL).
North Korea fired another missile on Wednesday, including at least one eastward ballistic missile that fell into the sea outside Japan’s exclusive economic zone (EEZ), Japan’s defense ministry said.
Deputy Defense Minister Toshiro Ino told reporters on Wednesday evening local time that the ballistic missile flew at a maximum altitude of less than 50 km.
“North Korea has rapidly increased its provocations, launching more than a dozen missiles today alone and reportedly firing more than 100 artillery shells into the Sea of Japan since its most provocative statement the previous day,” Inoue said.
No damage to aircraft or ships has been confirmed yet.
Asked if North Korea had fired so many missiles in a single day in the past, Ino told reporters that in 2006 and 2009, North Korea had fired several missiles between 3 a.m. and 5 p.m. local time, and between 8 a.m. and 5:30 a.m. local time. local time, respectively, without specifying the exact number of missiles.
A South Korean defense official said the missiles landed in the Yellow Sea to the west of the peninsula, known as the West Sea of Korea, and the Sea of Japan, known as the East Sea, to the east.
Air raid warning Ulleung Island, located 120 kilometers east of the peninsula, was thrown up around 2pm local time on Wednesday. South Korean President Yoon Suk-yeol said the North Korean test was an “effective territorial encroachment”.
At an emergency National Security Council (NSC) meeting, Yoon “ordered a swift response to North Korea’s provocations to pay a clear price,” according to South Korea’s presidential office.
In immediate retaliation, South Korea fired three air-to-air missiles from F-15K and KF-16 fighter jets on Wednesday morning, according to the JCS.
The JCS said the South Korean Air Force targeted international waters north of the NLL, about the same distance that the missile landed south of the North Korean missile line.
“Our military’s precision strike demonstrates our willingness to respond decisively to any North Korean provocations, including a short-range ballistic missile, and our ability and readiness to precisely target the enemy,” the JCS said.
The JCS added that North Korea bears “full responsibility” for the situation as it continues to provoke despite warnings.
On Wednesday, Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida told reporters that North Korea was launching missiles with “unprecedented frequency.”
Kishida also called for an early meeting of the National Security Council due to rising tensions on the Korean Peninsula.
“North Korea’s unprecedented launch of multiple ballistic missiles recklessly threatens the security of the Republic of Korea,” Australian Foreign Minister Penny Wong said. He tweeted that On Wednesday.
“Pyongyang must stop this action,” he added.
Moscow urged North and South Korea to avoid actions that could “further escalate tensions” as they clash with divided world relations amid comments from Russian President Vladimir Putin. Brutal invasion of Ukraine.
“The situation on the peninsula is already very tense, and we ask everyone to remain calm and refrain from actions that could provoke further escalation,” Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said on Wednesday.
US Ambassador to the UN Linda Thomas-Greenfield condemned North Korea’s unprecedented overnight missile launch.
Thomas-Greenfield told CNN on This Morning with Dan Lemmon, Caitlan Collins and Poppy Harlow that the UN would overturn “a number of Security Council resolutions” and that the UN would “put pressure” on China and Russia to improve and increase such sanctions.
He declined to say whether US President Joe Biden would raise it with China’s President Xi at the G20, but added that it was “on the president’s mind”.
According to CNN, the launch, North Korea’s 29th this year, comes after a North Korean official warned in a statement earlier Wednesday that any military action against the US and South Korea would pay “the most brutal price in history.” Pyongyang.
The Aggressive Acceleration The weapons tests and rhetoric have sparked alarm in the region, with the US, South Korea and Japan retaliating with missile launches and joint military exercises.
On Monday, the United States and South Korea began a previously planned large-scale military exercise called “Vigilant Storm.”
The maneuvers involved 240 aircraft from both countries and “thousands of service members,” according to the US Department of Defense.
US Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin is scheduled to meet South Korean Prime Minister Lee Jong-sup at the Pentagon on Thursday.
Experts previously told CNN that North Korean leader Kim Jong Un’s deliberate display of the country’s arsenal could send a message at a time of heightened global conflict.
Last month, North Korean state media broke a six-month silence on missile tests this year, saying they would demonstrate Pyongyang’s readiness to fire tactical nuclear weapons at potential targets in the South.
The latest tests come after the head of the United Nations nuclear watchdog warned last week that Pyongyang may be preparing for a nuclear test — the first since 2017 — as satellite images showed activity at its underground nuclear test site.
“We are following this very, very closely. We hope it will not happen, but unfortunately the signs are going in the other direction,” International Atomic Energy Agency chief Rafael Croci said last Thursday.
Correction: To clarify that this is not the first time that North and South Korea have launched missiles from their respective coasts, this story has been updated to reflect that North Korea has launched different types of missiles and is kilometers away from the NLL. .