North Korea has launched two more missiles, this time over South Korea. This is the second missile launch the nation has fired off in three days.
The first missile was launched on Tuesday and was a short-range weapon fired east over Japan. This was allegedly in response to the United States redeploying an aircraft carrier close to the Korean Peninsula. The missile flew well over Japan and was heading toward Hawaii when it landed in the Pacific Ocean.
Thursday’s launches were reported by South Korea’s Joint Chiefs of Staff (JCS) and the Japanese government. They followed Tuesday’s test of a suspected intermediate-range ballistic missile (IRBM) over Japan, the first missile launch since 2017. The first was launched at 6:01 am from Pyongyang and the second missile was fired 22 minutes later.
“This is the sixth time in the short period just counting the ones from the end of September,” Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida told reporters. “This absolutely cannot be tolerated.”
In a statement, South Korea’s military strongly condemned the launches and said they were a “clear violation” of United Nations Security Council resolutions, according to a report by Al Jazeera. The country’s National Security Council also condemned the launches as an “unacceptable challenge” to the international community and warned of a “stronger response”.
Thursday’s launches took place hours after the US abruptly repositioned its aircraft carrier USS Ronald Reagan to waters off the Korean peninsula — following rare joint missile drills with South Korea — in what South Korea’s military called an attempt to demonstrate the allies’ “firm will” to counter Pyongyang’s continued provocations following the IRBM launch.
Experts said the weapon was probably a Hwasong-12 missile, which is capable of reaching the US territory of Guam in the Pacific, and can carry a nuclear warhead. –Al Jazeera
What is concerning South Korea, Japan, and the United States, is the location of the launch site. It was apparently a new location, raising suspicions the weapons were fired from a mobile launcher.
Everywhere we look there is war rhetoric and continual ramping up of tensions. How long will this last before this all explodes into a literal hot war? North Korea has carried out an unprecedented number of missile tests this year (38 excluding cruise missiles) amid long-stalled nuclear diplomacy with the US. Analysts say the country wants to expand its military arsenal to boost its leverage in future negotiations with Washington and warn it may soon carry out its first nuclear test since September 2017.