North Korea provokes further missile tests | Current Asia | DW

US aircraft carrier Ronald Reagan arrives in South Korea

The two missiles were launched north of the North Korean capital Pyongyang towards the sea, South Korea’s general staff said in a statement. He described the shooting down as a “serious provocation” and said the armed forces were “on the highest alert in close coordination with the United States”.

Japan also confirmed the firing of the two missiles. North Korea has repeated its missile launches at an “unprecedented pace,” Japan’s Deputy Defense Minister Toshiro Ino said. The missiles “appeared to have been flying in erratic trajectories,” he said. According to experts, this may indicate that the missiles are maneuverable in flight. The projectiles flew 359 and 400 kilometers respectively.

US Vice President: Brutal dictatorship

Most recently, North Korea carried out a test with two ballistic missiles on Thursday, just a few hours after US Vice President Kamala Harris left South Korea. During her visit to the inter-Korean border, Harris criticized North Korea with unusually strong language as a “brutal dictatorship with rampant human rights abuses and an illegal weapons program that threatens peace and stability”.

US aircraft carrier Ronald Reagan arrives in South Korea

North Korea feels threatened by the US military presence in the region

Experts also see North Korea’s recent rocket tests as a reaction to the naval maneuvers by South Korean and US forces held this week. The aircraft carrier USS Ronald Reagan also took part in the four-day naval exercises. It was the first deployment of a US aircraft carrier to South Korea in almost four years. North Korea regularly accuses the United States of preparing an attack through its military maneuvers with South Korea – which both countries deny.

Nuclear power status sealed by law

Tensions in the region have risen sharply following a series of nuclear-capable missile tests by North Korea this year. The country is also reportedly preparing to launch a submarine ballistic missile and possibly its first nuclear test since 2017.

North Korea has been subject to UN sanctions since 2006, which the Security Council has steadily and unanimously tightened over the years. North Korea is to be prevented from financing its nuclear weapons and missile programs. However, North Korea’s ruler Kim Jong Un will not be deterred from his course. North Korea recently passed a new nuclear weapons law. Among other things, this provides for the use of nuclear weapons not only in the event of an attack by enemy forces, but also in the event of an impending attack on the leadership in Pyongyang. The status as a nuclear power was enshrined as “irreversible”.

bri/qu (dpa, rtr, afp)


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