North Korea fires ballistic missile toward sea


North Korea launched a short-range ballistic missile Thursday toward its eastern waters, South Korea’s military said, hours after the North threatened to launch “fiercer” military responses to the U.S. bolstering its security commitment to its allies South Korea and Japan.
South Korea’s military detected the launch from the North’s eastern coastal Wonsan area at 10:48 a.m., the South’s Joint Chiefs of Staff said in a statement. It said South Korea has boosted its surveillance of North Korea while maintaining a military readiness and a close coordination with the United States.
It was North Korea’s first ballistic missile firing in eight days and the latest in its barrage of tests in recent months. North Korea previously said some of the tests were simulations of nuclear attacks on South Korean and U.S. targets. Many experts say North Korea would eventually want to enhance its nuclear capability to wrest bigger concessions from its rivals.

Footage of a South Korean news cast alerting of the missile launch on Nov. 17, 2022.

Earlier Thursday, North Korean Foreign Minister Choe Son Hui warned that a recent U.S.-South Korea-Japan summit accord on the North would leave tensions on the Korean Peninsula “more unpredictable.”
Choe’s statement was North Korea’s first official response to U.S. President Joe Biden’s trilateral summit with his South Korean and Japanese counterparts on the sidelines of a regional gathering Sunday in Cambodia. In their joint statement, the three leaders strongly condemned North Korea’s recent missile tests and agreed to work together to strengthen deterrence, while Biden reaffirmed the U.S. commitment to defend South Korea and Japan with a full range of capabilities, including its nuclear arms.

South Korea and the US took part in a joint flyover earlier this month on the Korean peninsula.

“The keener the U.S. is on the ‘bolstered offer of extended deterrence’ to its allies and the more they intensify provocative and bluffing military activities on the Korean Peninsula and in the region, the fiercer (North Korea’s) military counteraction will be, in direct proportion to it,” Choe said. “It will pose a more serious, realistic and inevitable threat to the U.S. and its vassal forces.”
Choe didn’t say what steps North Korea could take but said that “the U.S. will be well aware that it is gambling, for which it will certainly regret.”
South Korea’s Defense Ministry responded later Thursday that the purpose of the trilateral summit was to coordinate a joint response to curb and deter advancing nuclear and missile threats by North Korea. Spokesperson Moon Hong Sik told reporters that security cooperation among Seoul, Washington and Tokyo was contributing to solidifying a U.S. extended deterrence to its allies.
North Korea has steadfastly maintained its recent weapons testing activities are legitimate military counteractions to U.S.-South Korean military drills, which it views as a practice to launch attacks on the North. Washington and Seoul have said their exercises are defensive in nature.

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By: Miss Cherry May Timbol – Independent Reporter

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