North Korea launched two additional ballistic missiles off its east coast on Monday, as the powerful sister of North Korean leader Kim Jong Un said Pyongyang’s use of the Pacific as a “firing range” would depend on how US forces behaved..
The launches came only two days after North Korea fired an ICBM into the ocean off the west coast of Japan, leading the United States to perform separate air exercises with Japan and South Korea on Sunday.
State-run media in North Korea reported that the country launched two projectiles from multiple rocket launchers with corresponding targets located 395 km (245 miles) and 337 km (209 miles) apart.
According to state news agency KCNA, the “600mm multiple rocket launcher mobilized in the firing… is a means of tactical nuclear weapon” capable of “paralyzing” an adversary airfield.
According to the Japanese Defense Ministry, the two missiles were fired at a maximum height of 50 and 100 kilometers, respectively, and fell outside Japan’s exclusive economic zone.
In reaction to North Korea’s most recent ICBM and missile tests, South Korea foreign ministry announced penalties on four people and five businesses connected to its weapons programmes on Monday. It claimed that this was its fastest-ever response to the North’s provocations.
The ministry claimed its nuclear envoy’s discussions with his American and Japanese counterparts on phone concluded in agreement that North Korea’s provocations could not possibly be justified in any manner and that it would only suffer the “consequences of self-indulgence.”
The United States’ Indo-Pacific Command emphasized the “destabilizing impact” of North Korea’s illegal weapons programmes, while Stephane Dujarric, a spokesman for the United Nations, urged North Korea to stop provocations outlawed by Security Council resolutions and reopen the denuclearization dialogue.During the weekend’s joint air drills with its Asian allies, Kim Yo Jong, sister of North Korean leader Kim, issued a warning against a greater presence of strategic military assets from the United States.
In a remark reported by KCNA, she said, “The frequency of using the Pacific as our fire range relies upon the action type of the US forces.”
This week, the US and South Korea will conduct mock nuclear tabletop drills to enhance the performance of US nuclear assets. In addition, the US and South Korea will conduct their annual springtime Freedom Shield field training in March.
The foreign ministry of Pyongyang announced last week that it would combat the exercises with “unprecedentedly relentless, robust counteractions.”