SEOUL: North Korea fired a salvo of short-range ballistic missiles on Thursday, Seoul’s military said, hours after Pyongyang sent hundreds of trash-filled balloons across the border to punish South Korea.

The launch follows a failed attempt by the nuclear-armed North to put a second spy satellite into orbit on Monday, shortly after Seoul, Beijing and Tokyo held a rare summit and called for Pyongyang to give up their nukes.

Kim Jong Un’s powerful sister on Thursday referred to the balloon barrage, which reportedly contained animal faeces, as “sincere presents” for the South in a statement, saying they were justified retaliation for anti-Kim propaganda sent northwards by activists.

North Korea also hit back at the UN Security Council, which will hold a meeting on Friday to discuss the failed satellite launch, which violated a raft of UN sanctions on Pyongyang’s use of ballistic technology.

Seoul’s military said it had detected the launch of what is suspected to be “around 10 short-range ballistic missiles”, fired into waters east of the Korean peninsula.

Published in Dawn, May 31st, 2024

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