North Korea fires two missiles as US VP due in Seoul

Published September 29, 2022
People watch a television screen showing a news broadcast with file footage of a North Korean missile test, at a railway station in Seoul on September 28. — AFP
People watch a television screen showing a news broadcast with file footage of a North Korean missile test, at a railway station in Seoul on September 28. — AFP

SEOUL: North Korea fired two short-range ballistic missiles off its east coast on Wednesday, South Korea’s military said, a day before US Vice President Kamala Harris is set to arrive in Seoul.

The launch came two days after South Korea and US forces conducted a military drill in waters off the South’s east coast involving an aircraft carrier. On Sunday, North Korea fired another ballistic missile towards the sea off its east coast.

Wednesday’s missiles were launched from the Sunan area of Pyongyang, the North Korean capital, between 0910-0920 GMT, South Korea’s Joint Chiefs of Staff said.

They flew about 360km, reaching an altitude of 30km and a maximum velocity of Mach 6 (or 7,450km per hour), they said, adding that a detailed analysis was under way.

“North Korea’s provocations will further strengthen the South Korean-US deterrence and response capability, and only deepen North Korea’s isolation from the international community,” the Joint Chiefs said in a statement.

South Korea’s national security council held an emergency meeting and condemned the test, vowing to continue building “overwhelming” capacity to deter North Korea, President Yoon Suk-yeol’s office said in a separate statement.

North Korean state media did not mention the reports of the latest launches, but its leader Kim Jong Un has said its development of nuclear weapons and missiles are meant to defend North Korea against US threats.

Published in Dawn, September 29th, 2022

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