North Korea Launches Ballistic Missile After Warning About Military Drills

After threatening a retaliatory strike against future military exercises by South Korea and the United States, North Korea fired a long-range ballistic missile into the ocean off the west coast of Japan.

The missile, which may have been one of Pyongyang’s largest, reportedly fell into the ocean on Saturday inside Japan’s exclusive economic zone (EEZ) more than an hour after it was launched, according to Japanese authorities.

“North Korea fires an unidentified ballistic missile into [the] East Sea,” South Korea’s Joint Chiefs of Staff said, referring to the body of water also known as the Sea of Japan.

Denouncing the launch as a “clear breach of UN Security Council resolutions”, the joint chiefs of staff said the missile had flown about 900km (560 miles) before splashing into the sea.

Hirokazu Matsuno, a spokesman for the Japanese government, informed reporters that North Korea fired an  “ICBM-class ballistic missile”  alluding to Pyongyang’s rising number of tests of long-range intercontinental ballistic missiles to the east.

Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida said the missile appeared to have landed “within Japan’s EEZ, west of Hokkaido”.

“It is an escalating provocation against the international community as a whole, and naturally, we severely lodged a protest against it,” he added.

There have been no recent reports of aircraft or ships being damaged, according to Japanese officials.

Read More Similar Articles If This One Piques Your Interest:

South Korean officials, meanwhile, said the “presumed long-range missile” was launched from the Sunan area near Pyongyang. Sunan is the site of the Pyongyang International Airport, where North Korea has conducted most of its recent ICBM tests.

After the launch on Saturday, the National Security Council of South Korea met and decided to expand security cooperation with Washington and Japan.

The US Indo-Pacific Command said in a statement that US commitments to the defence of Japan and South Korea “remain ironclad”.

“While we have assessed that this event does not pose an immediate threat to US personnel, or territory, or our allies, we will continue to monitor the situation,” the statement added.

The White House strongly condemned the launch and said it would take all necessary measures to protect the US homeland and regional allies.

The launch “needlessly raises tensions and risks destabilizing the security situation in the region,” Adrienne Watson, spokesperson for the White House National Security Council, said in a statement.

North Korea Launches Ballistic Missile

One day after North Korea’s foreign ministry vowed to take military action, the launch  “unprecedentedly” strong action against South Korea after it announced planned military exercises.

In a statement released on Friday, North Korea charged that Seoul and Washington had planned more than 20 rounds of military exercises this year, including extensive field training, and referred to them as “the arch-criminals deliberately disrupting regional peace and stability”.

The US tabletop exercise, scheduled for Wednesday, would set up possible scenarios in which North Korea uses nuclear weapons and would explore how to cope with them militarily and formulate crisis management plans, South Korea’s defense ministry has said.

“With a focus on North Korea’s nuclear threats, both sides will have in-depth discussions on various measures to strengthen US extended deterrence, including information sharing and consultation procedures,” the ministry said in a statement.

South Korea’s deputy minister of national defence policy, Heo Tae-keun, also informed lawmakers on Friday that the two nations would conduct larger-scale joint field exercises in mid-March than they had in recent years. Live-fire drills are anticipated to be a part of the training.

A Video From The North Korea’s Missile Tests Explained:

The most recent launch came after a record-breaking year for North Korean weaponry displays, during which Pyongyang fired over 70 ballistic missiles, including intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBMs) capable of reaching the US mainland.

Along with drafting legislation designating the nation as a “imperial power,” North Korea has also carried out many launches it has described as mock nuclear assaults against South Korean and American targets “irreversibly” nuclear state.

Al Jazeera’s defense editor Alex Gatopoulos said these missiles were real weapons tests that are increasing in sophistication.

“The missile did not travel that far, but it travelled extremely high – fourteen times higher than an ISS. It is an effective weapon that can deliver possibly a nuclear weapon if they so decide.”

Increased joint military exercises by South Korea and important allies have been in response to Pyongyang’s heightened actions.

That came after a time of restraint during the COVID-19 outbreak and Donald Trump’s unsuccessful diplomatic offensive.

As a result of the 1950–1953 Korean War, which ended in an armistice rather than a formal peace treaty and left the two nations technically still at war, about 28,500 US troops were stationed in South Korea.

The first launch from North Korea since January 1 was on Saturday. A missile launched by Pyongyang was also thought to have touched down in Japan’s Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) in November.

Hey Everyone! This is Maria. You'll be really glad to know that my passion of reading Novels proved to be a boon for me ever since I've started writing Articles. Make sure to read out my articles and drop down your comments on them!