South Korea and the United States launch eight missiles in response to North Korea
Seven were fired by South Korea and one by the United States, according to the South Korean Joint Chiefs of Staff, who said they had demonstrated that “even if North Korea provokes with missiles from several places, (South Korea and the United States have) the capability and readiness to strike immediately with precision.”
North Korea fired eight short-range ballistic missiles from multiple sites across the country into waters east of the Korean Peninsula on Sunday, according to the Joint Chiefs of Staff, who called the actions “a serious provocation that harms the peace and stability of not only the Korean peninsula but also the international community.”
The president pledged to respond “firmly and sternly” to North Korean provocations during a speech to mark South Korea’s Memorial Day on Monday.
North Korea’s launch on Sunday is its third missile test since the start of Yoon’s term and the 17th this year.
Pyongyang’s previous launch was on May 25 as US President Joe Biden returned to the United States from a trip to Asia. Biden’s trip included a stopover in Seoul during which the US president and his South Korean counterpart agreed to begin discussions on resuming and potentially expanding joint military exercises that had been halted under his predecessor Donald Trump. .
The United States and South Korea also fired missiles in response to North Korea’s May 25 missile launch. Including Monday’s launch, South Korea has fought back three times this year, after a hiatus since 2017.
On both sides, the missile launches are seen as a show of force and not aimed at specific targets. Generally, missiles land at sea.
The latest North Korean launch came a day after the South Korean and US navies concluded a three-day combined exercise in waters off Okinawa in Japan, the South Korean military confirmed to CNN.
Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida also “strongly protested” the latest North Korean launch, telling reporters on Sunday it was a flagrant violation of UN resolutions, while Defense Minister Nobuo Kishi called it “unprecedented” and confirmed at least six missiles, but possibly more. fired by North Korea had fallen outside Japan’s exclusive economic zone.
On Sunday, the U.S. armed forces and Japan’s self-defense forces also held a joint drill following multiple North Korean missile launches, the U.S. Indo-Pacific Command’s public affairs department said.
US and Japanese forces held a “bilateral ballistic missile defense exercise” to “demonstrate the US-Japan alliance’s readiness to respond to regional threats”, he added.
Japan’s Joint Chiefs of Staff said the exercise reaffirmed the readiness of the two forces, “demonstrating the close cooperation between Japan and the United States in dealing with the ballistic missile threat and strengthening further the Japanese-American alliance”.
Blake Essig and Emi Jozuka of CNN in Tokyo contributed to this story.