North Korea fires short-range missiles, lands near South Korea

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North Korea fires short-range missiles, lands near South Korea

North Korea fired short-range missiles, which led South Korea to issue a rare air raid warning after one missile landed less than 60 kilometers (37 miles) off its coast.

The launch, detected by the South Korean military and the Japanese coast guard on Wednesday morning, came only hours after Pyongyang requested that the US and South Korea halt the ongoing large-scale military drills, stating that such “military rashness and provocation can be no longer tolerated.”

The missiles were launched from the area surrounding Wonsan on North Korea’s eastern coast, and South Korea’s Joint Chiefs of Staff (JCS) issued an air raid alert for the island of Ulleung at the same time.

According to the JCS, at least one of the missiles impacted 26 kilometers (16 miles) south of the Northern Limit Line, a disputed inter-Korean maritime border.

The missile landed 57 kilometers (35 miles) east of the South Korean city of Sokcho and 167 kilometers (104 miles) west of Ulleung.

North Korea has conducted an unprecedented number of weapons tests this year and is expected to resume nuclear testing soon.

Pyongyang claims its weapons are needed for self-defense,’ and that recent tests serve as a warning to Washington and Seoul regarding its joint military exercises that it views as an invasion rehearsal.

The US clarified that the drills are not acts of provocation towards North Korea.

“We reject the notion that they serve as any sort of provocation. We have made clear that we have no hostile intent towards the DPRK and call on them to engage in serious and sustained diplomacy,” White House National Security Council Spokesperson Adrienne Watson.

This week’s US-South Korea drills, dubbed Vigilant Storm, began on Monday and are some of the two allies’ most extensive, including over 240 warplanes from each side staging mock attacks 24 hours a day. BKM/ Expat Media


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