North Korea Fires Ballistic Missile During US-South Korean Drills
- State media KCNA said that Pyongyang's launch of an ICBM on Thursday was a warning about the U.S.-South Korea military drills.
- KCNA reported on Sunday that North Korea criticised the U.S. and U.N. Secretary-General António Guterres for bringing up its human rights abuses at an informal meeting of the UNSC.
South Korea and Japan say that North Korea fired a short-range ballistic missile into the sea off the east coast of the Korean Peninsula on Sunday. This is the latest test that the nuclear-armed country has done since the beginning of the year.
A South Korean military statement said that the missile took off from the Dongchang-ri site on the west coast at 11:05 a.m. (0205 GMT) and flew about 500 miles before hitting its target. The Defense Ministry of Japan said that the missile went as high as 50 km (30 miles).
Soon after the launch on Sunday, South Korea’s Ministry of National Defense said that the U.S. sent a B-1B strategic bomber to a joint air drill that Seoul and Washington say is meant to strengthen deterrence.
South Korean news agency Yonhap quoted the military as saying that the bomber’s deployment was planned ahead of time and had nothing to do with the latest North Korean launch.
Sunday was the third day in a row that Japan and the U.S. held joint military exercises over the sea between the Korean peninsula and Japan. These exercises took place both in the air and on the water.
The launches of ballistic missiles by North Korea have been called a “clear violation” of a U.N. Security Council resolution by Seoul.
In a statement released on Sunday, the foreign ministers of the G7 countries said they “deeply regret” that the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) hasn’t taken action against North Korea because of the “obstruction” of some of its members.
No one was named, but China and Russia have stopped the United Nations from doing anything about North Korea’s missile tests.
‘UNACCEPTABLE’ THREAT TO INTERNATIONAL PEACE
Tokyo, Washington, and Seoul have all had bad things to say about the launches.
At a news conference, Japan’s State Minister of Defense Toshiro Ino said, “North Korea’s actions threaten international peace and security and are unacceptable.” He also said that Japan had protested strongly through North Korea’s embassy in Beijing.
The U.S. Indo-Pacific Command said that the launch on Sunday did not pose a threat to U.S. troops or those of its allies right away. In a statement, it was said that Pyongyang’s illegal programmes to make weapons of mass destruction and ballistic missiles have made things less stable.
Thursday, the North is thought to have fired an intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) into the sea between the Korean Peninsula and Japan. This happened just hours before South Korea’s president flew to Tokyo for a meeting where they talked about how to deal with the North.
State media KCNA said that Pyongyang’s launch of an ICBM on Thursday was a warning about the U.S.-South Korea military drills.
“Freedom Shield 23,” a set of 11 days of military drills between South Korean and U.S. forces, started a week ago on a scale not seen since 2017.
KCNA reported on Sunday that North Korea criticised the U.S. and U.N. Secretary-General António Guterres for bringing up its human rights abuses at an informal meeting of the UNSC. North Korea called this a “serious challenge” to its sovereignty.
North Korea’s Permanent Mission to the U.N. was quoted by state media as saying, “The U.S. started a human rights campaign against the DPRK at the U.N. while holding the aggressive joint military exercise that poses a grave threat to our national security.”
(Hyunsu Yim reported; Kevin Buckland and Mariko Katsumura reported additional information; Jacqueline Wong, William Mallard, Lincoln Feast, and Barbara Lewis edited)